Our heroes are a family, Dad and two teenage daughters, out in the woods working on their dream house in the Pacific Northwest. One daughter is obsessed with dancing and the other has a big test coming up. Dad is a clever fellow who is working on the house on his own.
One day they are all immersed in their private media and the power goes off. They meet a few minor challenges and find their way down the mountain into town. Things are grim. No gas, little food, and yet the older daughter still finds time to go to a dance class and the younger daughter goes off to party with her friends.
Then they return to the cabin and Dad says they have to stay home, the world is too dangerous now.
The Dad goes out and promptly gets himself killed while cutting down a massive tree. He does this even though we see fallen trees littering the whole area.
So check off Disney To Do List Item One-kill the kid’s parent so the kids have to be the heroes.
Time passes and we watch as the house falls into disrepair, they learn to find food in the wild, and life settles into a semi-normal pattern. It never seems to occur to them to move into one of the many now abandoned homes in the surrounding area. Houses that we can assume are completed and not falling apart yet.
The usual villains in post apocalyptic stories are other people. Usually men who want to eat us or rape our women, as Gahan Wilson said in his Sci Fi Plot Generator. We only see a few bad guys, since most people seem to think things are better on the East Coast and have left. The story moves at a fairly slow pace and a lot of nothing happens.
Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood get the bulk of the screen time as the two daughters and Callum Keith Rennie plays the doomed father. A handful of other people are seen and the lone villain is Michael Eklund, whose Central Casting Bio must say Creepy and Evil.
Into the Forest was a little different from most post apocalyptic films in that there are no zombies, no hordes of madmen driving souped up cars, and no pandemic killing everyone. At least, not that we see. The world is limited to the woods and the small town they visit. Without power, the greater world ceases to exist.
In the end, we know nothing. Like The Road, Into The Forest is a bit of Literature, not some silly bit of Sci Fi. Maybe everything here is symbolic and has some deeper allegorical meaning that was lost on me. There were a few tense moments, but it was mainly a lot of head scratching about why the girls do what they do.