The Backwoods

The Backwoods Information

The Backwoods, alternately known in Spanish as Bosque de Sombras, is a 2006 Spanish-British thriller film directed and co-written by the Spanish director Koldo Serra.

Set in 1978 in the Basque Country, Northeast Spain, The Backwoods tells the story of two married couples staying in an isolated house in the woods. Once belonging to his Basque grandmother, Englishman Paul (Gary Oldman) has purchased the house as a holiday retreat for himself and his Spanish wife Isabel (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón) . They are joined by fellow Englishman Norman (Paddy Considine) and his wife Lucy (Virginie Ledoyen), who are hoping the holiday will help save their marriage. While out hunting, Norman and Paul discover a deformed girl locked away in an abandoned building; deciding to rescue her, they take her back to their holiday home. The following day, a group of armed local men come to the house searching for the girl, whom they claim is their sister.

Critics noted similarities between The Backwoods and earlier thrillers such as Deliverance and Straw Dogs.


Set in the summer of 1978, Lucy and Norman, a young married couple whose relationship is going through a rough patch, decide to visit an English friend, Paul, who lives with his Spanish wife Isabel in the Basque Country. Standing in an isolated spot in the middle of the forest, the house seems the ideal spot for a quiet stay and the chance for Lucy and Norman to sort out their emotional problems. However, their peace is shattered when Paul and Norman discover a cabin in the forest in which a girl with ectrodactyly is imprisoned. Their attempts to take the girl to the police are hampered by the difficulties of the heavily wooded terrain and the intervention of a group of villagers who are determined to keep the girl locked away for good.


  • Gary Oldman - Paul
  • Virginie Ledoyen - Lucy
  • Paddy Considine - Norman
  • Aitana Sánchez-Gijón - Isabel
  • Lluís Homar - Paco
  • Yaiza Esteve - Nerea
  • Álex Angulo - Jose Andrés
  • Patxi Bisquert - José Luis
  • Andrés Gertrudix - Antonio
  • José Andrés Zalguegui - Bartender


Based on six reviews, the film garnered an aggregate rating of 67% on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

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