This is a slow and pensive movie, though I mean that in a positive sense. While it may not seem so, there is a lot going on in the movie, but much of it happens subtly, under the surface.
Kevin Bacon plays the role of the troubled Walter so perfectly and naturally that it seems this was Bacon’s role from the very start. Sure, Walter’s character could have been developed further, but the fact that it is not does not reflect on Bacon’s performance; as far as the movie goes, he does an excellent job. Since the movie is a character study, it is obviously of great importance that the right actor is cast in the role. The other cast members complement Bacon, ensuring that the acting as a whole is top-notch.
The Woodsman features a powerful, tense, and pivotal scene that takes place in a park, involving Bacon’s character and a young girl. As I watched this scene play out, I immediately felt that it was the scene in the movie. The scene is one great example of “less is more”: for all its ostensible simplicity in terms of what the characters do and the environment they are in, this is one of the most unsettling and suspenseful scenes I have seen in a movie in a long time.