Wake Wood (2011)
The parents of a deceased girl, savaged in a dog attack, resurrect her for 3 days with the help of some Irish villagers. However, there are rules to obey……and they break them.
An old-fashioned and “cute” horror story.
The plot is engaging and director David Keating manages to re-create the atmosphere of a vintage 70s British horror film. The mysterious pale-faced villagers; bleak rural locations and the all-knowing town patriach, played by the gentle but creepy Timothy Spall, are all homages to a bygone era in British cinema.
I like the idea of re-inventing classic horror movies and this film owes more than a bit to “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and to Stephen King’s short story “Pet Semetary” too. The editing of the sex-scene is taken straight from Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” as is the image of the little girl running around in a bright rain-mack; although the colour yellow and the name of the demonic little girl in this movie are quite explicit nods to 1977’s cult favourite “Alice, Sweet Alice”.
For gore and splatter fans, there are some graphic set-pieces, some nasty murders and a quite gratuitous “ritual” scene.
However, you can’t get away from the fact that this has all been done – and to much better effect – before. In addition, aspects of the script are simply unbelievable. Our heroic young couple seem all to easily to accept that the dead can be brought back to life and are quite happy to ransack their daughter’s potted grave on a rainy-night. Aside from Spall, I wasn’t very impressed with the performances of the cast who remain largely forgettable. In particular, the girl who plays “Alice” (the dead daughter) was not well-cast and this significantly drags the picture down since so much screen-time is afforded to her. The pacing of the film is all wrong too; once our grieving couple have resurrected their daughter, the director doesn’t seem to know what to do with her – apart from to kill people at what seems to be random and with little purpose.
Despite the above, the nostalgia-drenched finale and an unsettling conlcusion make for a watchable if unoriginal genre movie.
hotdog rating: 5.5/10