In the last decade or so movies set in the ‘backwoods’ have fallen into a slump of mutant slasher
fayre, this has kept me away from exploring this setting in horror movies as it really doesn’t interest
me as a viewer. Enter ‘The Pit‘ a supernatural tale of a backwoods community who have their own
way of living and their own way of worshiping.
With a near endless supply of folktales and myths, the mutant twist in these movies got stale quickly
but The Pit has no mutants to be seen. It starts of with a title scene of chalk drawn pictures and a
brooding song beating along. It does well to set the tone and pace of the film.
We quickly learn about the pit, a hole in the woods that for some reason this community worship, the
idea that it could just be a religious belief is played with until later in the film when we
get definitive proof that the pit is alive and is supernatural. This leads to some very gruesome deaths
because when the pit is unhappy the pit gets a’ killing.
Dwight, the simple boy of the group for some reason has the gift of receiving messages from the pit
in the form of a face that he then makes into pottery, once he has made this the person whose face
is chosen must be sacrificed to the pit to keep it happy. Its definitely a pretty original premise.
Larry Fessenden stars as the patriarch trying desperately to keep his community together even if he
is loosing his family all around him. He is brilliant as always and looks to be having fun in the role.
There are a lot of love triangles and mish-mashes that lead to some hard choices for everyone, none more
than Ada, the main protagonist.
To reveal much more of the plot would ruin some awesome scenes to come so i will stop here, The Pit is
a brooding, mystical and highly enjoyable powerful piece of backwoods originality among a slew of
mutant zombie rehashes. The Pit is worth your time and if you love a mythical, fairy-tale kind of
atmosphere in your horror then this movie is for you.
(Editor: 101 Films have put this film out on DVD in the UK, a release that really shows off the quality of what 101 have to offer in their library of horror releases.)