Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A review of "Wake Wood"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Wake Wood”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     Ireland, why do you fail so much at making horror films?  Even though I’ve only seen 3-4 Horror films that your country has released, I’ve been bored out of my mind each time.  Nothing happens for the first 80% of the films, and then it’s not like the pay off was worth all that boredom and frustration. Well this week Ireland, I have decided to review your “least awful” (and I’m using that term strongly) horror movie; “Wake Wood”.     
“Wake Wood” is the story of a couple whose only daughter, Alice, is killed when she is attacked by a dog.  Her grieving parents pack up all their things and move out to the small rural community of “Wake Wood”.  The mother, played by actress Eva Birthistle, is beyond devastated because she is no longer capable of having anymore children due to some “bodily complications” during her first and only pregnancy.  One night the couple accidentally stumbles upon a bizarre and cultish ritual that goes on at the home run by the Boss of the husband.  After asking around about the weird and mysterious things that the couple have noticed happening around Wake Wood, the town’s residents decide that is time that they can let Alice’s parents in on the towns dark secret: The people in town are able to resurrect the dead—-at least temporarily.  Through a bizarre and ancient ceremony the people of the town can resurrect any person for 3 days to give their families and loved ones the opportunity to properly say goodbye.  The only stipulations are that the person they bring back can’t have been buried for more than one year.  Any family that takes part in the ceremony must be a resident of Wake Wood and once they go through with the ceremony they are never allowed to leave the village of Wake Wood ever again.  The couple is willing to do anything to get their young daughter back, and the town agrees to help them, but unfortunately the couple is not entirely honest with the residents of Wake Wood and now the whole village is out to take back their daughter before any more damage can be done on the world.                                  
Aren't they just a, right, cheery lot?
    First of all, everyone in this film walks around with this bleak look of melancholy on their face.  It’s like everyone in town has depression and can only speak in monotone.  They make cast of “Schindler’s List” look a Broadway Musical cast; they’re just so depressed and detached from the world.  I can hardly recall anyone smiling in this film.  Except for maybe when the parents got their daughter back.  Because the cast seems so bored and uninterested in the film, I feel like I suffered from second-hand boredom of the film and lost all interest in wanting to make it through the film—but I did, because as long as you people continue to read my posts, I will continue to psychologically torture myself by forcing myself to sit through these films. 
Oh Yeah looks totally normal
Nothing Sketchy going on here (NOT!)
    I actually found it laughable, over how nonchalant the town is over their ceremonies, like it’s something they do every day.  There’s a scene in the film where they walk by the mothers pharmacy chanting and banging on drums and they just look over at her with this look that says “Oh yeah, this is something that we do in town every week, we should probably let you know about what’s going on real soon”.  Also, the ceremony to me doesn’t make much sense. I don’t understand why a person would want to bring back a loved one when they know that in three days they will be taken away.  I would imagine that it would be more difficult to lose a child a second time.  If I were to go through a ceremony like this I’d want to keep a person alive as long as I could.  Not to mention that rule that you can never leave the town again.  I can barely stand to be in the town I live in now, I couldn’t imagine living here if I was never allowed leave again.  For me the risk outweighs the reward and it wouldn’t be worth it.                                     
"Sometimes...dead is better".
Nothing really exciting happens in this film until the last 20 minutes.  For audience reactions this film depends way too much on gross out horror (like watching a cow give birth on screen or skinning a dog) or excessive blood loss.  I swear the residents of Wake Wood must have three times the amount of blood as normal people, because when someone gets stabbed or attacked that stuff gushes out everywhere. I feel like the films creators were just trying way too hard to “shock” and “impress” its audience.  Nothing of major importance happens in this film.  It’s a bland story with a weak delivery and things happen because the films plot say so.  There’s a somewhat interesting twist to the plot at the end, but that does absolutely nothing to save this film.                                                 
   If I had to give this film a grade I’d say it deserves a C-.  You can tell there were clear intentions that they tried to make a good film, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for and I still found it to be very boring.  My advice to the Irish is to go back to making awesome Rock Music and leave the Horror Movie making to the Japanese and the Scandinavian’s; they know what they’re doing.

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