Agnes Bruckner has a knack for playing tortured teens. This time around, the 18-year-old star of last summer's acclaimed indie ''Blue Car'' trades tears for fears to play Heather Fasulo in ''The Woods,'' due next fall. ''It's a psychological horror film,'' says Bruckner, with ''a lot of schoolgirls and an ax. It's very gory.'' Guided by Patricia Clarkson (''The Station Agent''), who plays the headmistress of an all-girls school in the spooky sticks, Bruckner uses her telepathic gifts to determine who's killing off her classmates. ''There's running and screaming, falling and axing -- a lot of fun.'' The psychological part? ''Sometimes you watch a horror movie and the first five minutes, someone gets killed and you don't even know the character. That's definitely not this movie. You really get to know these characters, so once something does happen, you actually feel for them.'' Plus, she adds, ''the acting is a lot, you know, better.''