Written and directed by Tofiq Rzayev, based on Rzayev’s English screenplay, The Girl in the Woods is a short film based on a simple concept. A friend goes missing suddenly and then sends a text, “Find me.” As the characters discuss their feelings about the missing friend, one actively searches for him and finds more than he bargained for.
While the story is interesting it is slow and dialogue heavy. Despite this the viewer does want to learn what happened to the missing friend and fiancee. Elements of a mysterious woman in the woods, barefoot and immaculate in a white dress, along with the other characters irritation at the missing man create a certain disconnect.
The film, apart from lighting issues in the wood scenes and a lipstick problem, looks good. The cinematography for the interior scenes and the exterior night shoot are clear and crisp and framed well. There are some issues with sound where either the background, or the equipment, noise is too intrusive and spoils the mood.
Overall, an interesting little film that suffers from too much dialogue and too little action. The cast, however, do well with their roles. All the actors, with the exception of Gizem Aybike Sahin, are first timers and they perform adequately in the time allotted. Deniz Aslim as Mert is earnest and concerned as the friend searching for his pal. Cevahir Casgir as the title character makes the transition from interesting to creepy easily.
The Girl in the Woods is Rzayev’s 11th short and it currently being entered into the festival circuit. The film, despite being very heavy in terms of dialogue, does feel like a slice of “everyday” life with a dramatic slant.