Writer and director József Gallai kindly sent us his latest movie after we last saw Spirits in the Dark from him. I Hear The Trees Whispering is shot in the same forest as that movie, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Will, voiced by Gábor Varga (“In the Line of Fire (TV)”, “Interjú (TV)”), arrives at a remote log cabin in the woods. It has taken him over a day to get there and the nearest people are some 15 minutes away.
His job is to look after the surrounding area, mend fences, fix steps, make sure no-one is doing what they shouldn’t, that sort of thing. He has a guide, of sorts, in June, voiced by Laura Saxon (“The Poltergeist Diaries”, “Bannerman”), whom he can speak to via a headset, which also allows June to track his location.
Why am I saying ‘voiced by’? Well, you never actually meet June in person and you only ever see Will’s hands. The whole movie is shot from Will’s point of view, think of it like a first-person computer game and you won’t be far wrong, the camera even has that floaty, ethereal feel to it.
Will and June swap stories as Will roams the forest. We learn that Will, a former truck driver, had a wife, but she was killed whilst crossing the road and the driver, Thomas Briscoe, got away with it. Will’s daughter, Lily, now lives with his father-in-law Dale, Larry Hankin (“Breaking Bad (TV)”, “The Super Man (TV)”), on the Isle of Man. Will came to the forest, known as Lily of the Valley, to be alone with his thoughts.
Right from the first day things are weird; Will finds an abandoned chainsaw and bag which has a USB stick in it that looks like a human finger. Taking these back to the cabin he sees a man with a flashlight who turns it on and off a few times before walking off.
Over the next few days more weirdness happens and when he comes back to the cabin to find a blood-soaked sign that reads ‘I know why you are here’, he really begins to freak out. June tells him some chilling news about the previous guy, Chuck, voiced by Bill Oberst Jr. (“3 From Hell”, “Scream Queens”), that Will would have liked to have known prior to taking the job I bet!
Later he follows sounds like fireworks and comes across a tent, with his emergency flare gun inside plus his laptop. Things are getting very strange now and Will is freaking out even more. Will he ever learn what’s going on in this forest?
I Hear The Trees Whispering feels, looks and sounds like a computer game, Varga even has that sought of voice. You expect a horror when you see movies shot from a person’s PoV so it’s refreshing that I Hear The Trees Whispering isn’t, it’s much more of a drama then that.
There are some really nice touches, particularly when you know the ending, so I won’t spoil things and list them here, however, the constant leaves crunching underfoot, which starts out as a nice touch, but, personally, began to grate a bit after a while but overall I Hear The Trees Whispering is a well made, well thought out movie.
THE QUICK SELL
Running from his tormented past, a man takes a job in the middle of the woods, only to find his quiet life shattered when it soon turns out nothing around him is what it seems.