Sunday, 1 January 2012

Wake Wood (2011)

"Help! I don't wanna be another child star with an anonymous adult career!"
At a glance:
This is a Swedish-Irish project filmed in Övreby and Donegal that will whet the appetite of any Pet Sematary (1989) fan who wanted The New Daughter (2009) done in the vein of The Wicker Man (1973) with a bit of the bovine horror from Isolation (2005). Yes, it's definitely worth a look, if only because it is Hammer Films' first feature release in over 30 years - bringin life to the old English studio that gave us movies like The Curse Of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). The classical bio-resurrection horror formula is revisited by producer Brendan McCarthy who wrote a rather uneven script and screenplay together with director David Keating - though this is amply made up by the excellent production values, includin the quiet star appeal of decidedly Irish leads Eva Birthistle (Ae Fond Kiss, 2004) and Aidan Gillen (Blitz, 2001) not to mention a very familiar face in Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter films).
The ubiquitous Timothy Spall
Bad news on the doorstep:
The little girl (Ella Connoly) is somewhat miscast but her yellow raincoat is perhaps a nod to the red one worn by the little girl in the 1973 classic Don't Look Now so we'll just overlook that.
Perennial wonderment:
Why aren't there more supernatural horror like these? The best thing about Wake Wood is the texture and quaintness of the set, especially when you have a look at the grisly traditional FX employed to depict the supernatural elements of nature. Wake Wood does well in bein totally devoid of the sudden-loud-noise horror that we've come to expect these days and is one of the more memorable returns to chillin ritualistic paganism since Lord Summerisle last  held a fire torch in 1973's The Wicker Man.
Watch out for:
Muddy scenes of human resurrection.
Reminds me of lemang.
"Shit. I knew we should've just adopted."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Wake Wood (2011) obliges with a strong finish that comes with a twist for post-movie conversation fodder and perhaps we can all agree with the director who wrote in the production notes that "everything that happens is their fault but as an audience we go along with all the mistakes they make because we know we would do the exact same thing in their place".★★★1/2