Friday, November 11, 2011

Wake Wood (2010)

At a glance:
An emotionally gripping, gory and scary film about a grieving couple who get an opportunity to spend three days with their recently deceased daughter

Our review (with spoilers):
A couple grieving over the loss of their daughter gets an usual opportunity: the chance to be with her again for three days. Such is the way of life in the small towns of horror – the inhabitants often have a deep dark secret that they have agreed to hide. In this town, the locals know a way to extract the life force from a recently deceased corpse and then use that to reanimate another one. Louise (Eva Birthistle) and Patrick (Aidan Gillen) ask that their daughter Alice (Ella Connolly), who died suddenly when she was mauled by a dog, be brought back. There are just a couple of problems: one, as you might imagine, it’s going to be pretty hard for the couple to let her go again when those short period of grace expires. And two, that’s going to be irrelevant, because the couple has not abided by the rules of the ‘game’, and the consequences will be disastrous.

The film combines the heartfelt grief that accompanies the loss of a child with a moody, scary horror/slasher vibe. It’s rare that a film can be so tense in the build-up, yet actually deliver on what it promises – and this one does. Plus, it’s got one of the best finales I’ve seen in some time – scary, funny, calculating, and just self-referential enough to make everything that came before it that much more fun.

Finally, the acting across the board is extremely solid. It’s the full package – a horror movie that will appeal to a wider audience (as long as that audience can handle a bit of gore).

Rating: 3 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"With deliberate echoes of classic Hammer horror, this moody and inventive thriller gets under our skin with its deeply personal plot, which pays as much attention to horror as emotion."
- Rich Cline (Shadows on the Wall)


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