‘The Body Tree’ (2017) Review: Does this Film have A Limb to Stand On?

With most films, especially if you go into them without knowing much, you always hope they’ll end up being a hidden gem. Usually, something about them attracts you in the first place whether it’s the cover art, synopsis, trailer, or actors. With the new film The Body Tree, the synopsis caught my attention right away, but did it deliver?

Written and directed by Thomas Dunn (The Ungodly) and co-written by Mikhail Kukushkin (The Young Evil). Starring Erica Dasher (Jane By Design) as Alice, Emma Dumont (The Gifted) as Sandra, Kyle Jones (Cynthia) as Mike, Ivanna Sakhno (Pacific Rim Uprising) as Helen, Gene Farber (Captain America Civil War) as Piotr, Costa Ronin (Red Dog) as Sergei, and Mason D. Davis (Saturday’s Warrior) as Dan.

Official Synopsis of The Body Tree:

When a group of Americans travel to Russian Siberia to honor the memory of their murdered friend, they partake in an unusual ceremony that goes awry setting a demon free. As the demon hops from body to body the group of friends have to learn to trust eachother or be destroyed.

One thing I can say about The Body Tree is that it doesn’t take long for things to escalate. Right from the beginning, you are thrown into the midst of it all, following the group of friends as they are already arriving at the location where the events take place. This is a good and bad thing.

the body tree

The good part is that you don’t have to wait too long for something to happen. The director made it so you aren’t bored by what is on screen. The bad, however, is that you are dropped into the scenario with really no idea what is going on. You actually have to have everything explained to you by one of the characters in what felt like unnecessary exposition.

The way it was edited didn’t help things either. Just when a scene was starting to get good it felt like it would abruptly jump to a different scene. When this happened I felt as if I missed something and would spend a few seconds trying to figure out what exactly was going on. This happened more times than I would like to admit.

The characters themselves were also a bit bland. While everyone acted their parts well, the characters all felt a bit interchangeable to the point where I couldn’t remember who was who. If they all had a little more of a unique personality I feel that it could have made what was coming a bit more dramatic. Altogether though I just didn’t care for any of them.

Now the story itself is nothing new. I didn’t watch a trailer but as soon as the scene with the ceremony started I knew this would end up being a type of possession film. Though I will admit that the ceremony scene was a nice touch and was a breath of fresh air. However, we have had way too many of these over the past few years and other films have done this same thing and executed it in a much better way. After that specific scene, there just wasn’t anything new or unique to keep my attention.

All of this adds up to what I would consider a somewhat mediocre possession film. Hell at the time that this review is being written it has only been less than a day and I am already having a hard time remembering most of what happens in the film. I actually had to rewatch parts before writing just so I could review it properly. This is not a good sign. If I can not remember certain things that happened less than a day ago then that means that The Body Tree left no impression on me whatsoever. Hopefully, some of you will find more enjoyment out of it than I did.

About Scott Crawford

I am an avid lover of horror films ever since I was a little boy. I have amassed a sizeable film collection in my life and it is one of my pride and joy. I also love video games and have been playing them since the days of the Intellivision. I currently play on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch and love all genres of games but mainly play single player story driven games mainly in the fantasy or horror genre. I also host a podcast called The Podcast by the Cemetery with two of my friends and we talk horror and video games.

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