Deep in Red Herrings
The only thing deep about "In the Deep Woods" is the amount of red herrings you have to wade through as one after another are layered together in this early 90's made for TV thriller. And that is all there is to it because whilst we have this storyline about a serial killer the focus of the movie is making us wonder which of the various men are the killer and to keep us guessing it constantly plays the it could be anyone of them game. It might be alright to start with but the longer "In the Deep Woods" goes on the more monotonous it becomes and the more over acted it becomes as well as it tries to reach a dramatic climax.
Whilst at the funeral of one of her friends Joanna Warren (Rosanna Arquette - Silverado) is approached by Detective Eric Gaines (Will Patton - No Way Out) who is on the hunt of a serial killer and her friend was his latest victim. But it is not only the slightly over friendly Detective who enters Joanna's life as she has a new boyfriend Frank (D.W. Moffett), a colleague of her brother Tommy's (Christopher Rydell) and then there is the mysterious and creepy Paul Miller (Anthony Perkins - North Sea Hijack) who says he is a Private Investigator but never seems to be telling the truth. Suddenly Joanna finds herself in the middle of this serial killer case as any of the men in her life could be suspects.
So here is the thing about "In the Deep Woods", it is a standard serial killer movie where we are lead on a merry dance of one red herring after another as we try and work out who the killer is. And we are given a variety of suspects from a brother, a boyfriend, a cop and a creepy man who loiters in parks all of which could be the killer. But that is really it, the entire movie whilst built around the character of Joanna is really just these 4 guys and the guessing game as to which one is the killer.
What this means is that whilst it keeps on throwing red herrings at us right up until just before the credits role it has long become a joke before it gets there. It's a joke purely because it sets something up, we see the mysterious Miller and he does something to make us think it's him, then we see Frank smoking and the cigarette looks similar to the butts found at murder scenes and it just keeps on firing off one suggestive scene after another not caring if the logic really plays out. As well as making it a joke it also makes it monotonous because you stop trying to work out who the killer is, in fact you can guess the right one quite easily and quickly.
But to be honest I have seen worse and in many ways it is who is in the movie which makes it watchable. Anthony Perkins in his last performance doesn't have a great deal to do but what he does is do ominous quite nicely and in a way so does Will Patton as the Detective who has a thing for Joanna. And then there is Rosanna Arquette who unfortunately is saddled with a lousy character who basically has to act timid and frightened and that is about it. But because we have some well known faces it superficially helps to make "In the Deep Woods" watchable.
What this all boils down to is that "In the Deep Woods" is not a great thriller in fact it is quite monotonous as all it does is throw one red herring at you after another until you are knocked dumb by it all. But with a cast of recognizable faces it is kind of watchable.