DVD Review: A Night in the Woods (15), (79 mins), new on DVD from Blockbuster.

That old found-footage genre would seem to have run its course. The proof lies in the lazy and uninteresting A Night in the Woods.

It tells us that three people went missing on Dartmoor, never to be found and that what follows is the footage they left behind.

But unfortunately it’s the tale of three remarkably-unpleasant people you’re never going to mourn no matter how much they manage to scare the pants off each other in the next 79 minutes.

Anna Skellern is a girl daft enough to be mixed up with a weird, creepy boyfriend who films pretty much anything and everything she does. In a genuinely-nasty moment half way through, she discovers the extent of his additional secret filming.

Just to ensure that nothing’s going to go smoothly on their camping trip, the girl invites along the chap she lost her virginity to and attempts to pass him off as his cousin.

It soon turns out that weirdo had recently filmed “cousin” breaking into their house. Everything is set for the tensions to bubble up and boil over quite spectacularly, all out in the wilds of Dartmoor against a background of all sorts of chilling local legends.

There’s a certain cleverness in the fact that we repeatedly find ourselves forgetting that all three of them perish, but that’s not the same as rooting for any of them. Their horrors, largely self-inflicted, largely leave the viewer cold.

But the film’s biggest problem is its sheer laziness and carelessness.

We are supposed to be watching found footage, but repeatedly the camera angles are perfect, everything nicely lined up; time and again, you’d swear there were at least a couple of cameras being used; and even when it all goes lopsided and jumpy in the frequent fisticuffs, no one ever truly tumbles out of the frame for long.

Without the found footage angle, there might have been a decent thriller in here somewhere; but the found footage insistence leaves you wishing that whoever found it had simply left it there.

Phil Hewitt

Rental courtesy of Blockbuster. For details of other new releases, see www.blockbuster.co.uk.