WAKE WOOD (2011)

Director: David Keating
Cast: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall, Ella Connoll, Ruth McCabe, Brian Gleeson
RunTime: 1 hr 27 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scene, Violence and Some Gore)
Official Website: http://www.exclusivefilmsinternational.com/

Opening Day: 6 October 2011

Synopsis:  The village of Wake Wood in rural Ireland has preserved a tradition which enables its inhabitants to bring a person back from the dead for three days, one year after their death, in order to say a final farewell to their loved ones, before they make their final journey to the spirit world. Patrick and Louise Daly have come to Wake Wood to take over the veterinary practice. They are relocating from the city to recover from the tragic death of their daughter. The couple can't have another child. They discover the ritual. Patrick and Louise ask if the villagers might bring their child back. The villagers agree to help but remind them that they can only have her back for three days and then she must return to the world of the dead. Patrick and Louise accept the rules, but when their child returns, they decide to keep her and break their agreement. The couple pay a terrible price for this transgression.

Movie Review:

Oh where do i begin with this mess? The obvious story? The terrible script? The sub par acting that is crawl worthy? OK, i might be exaggerating alittle but only because of my anger towards such monstrosity being able to sneak into the theaters here. Overall, it feels like a direct to DVD production or a film that will only see the light of day in a horror film festival as a filler. Yes, i am that emotional towards it as sensed from the get-go that started from the first sentence i wrote. Let’s break up into points at where it fails.

But before we jump into this pool of murky depth of horror, a little summary of what it’s all about. A young couple after meeting with a  terrible tragic event with the loss of their beloved young daughter, moved to a creepy town/village and finds out the dark and mysterious secret that keeps the town alive. More like they really bring back the town alive from the dead. But of cos nothing is ever that simple. Rest assure, mayham will be abound and lives will be lost. I’ll be even more upset if it didn’t. Anyone wanna take a guess why the film sounds familiar? Talk about remakes and reboots, anyone remember the hit Stephen King’s Pet Semetary?

The main gripe i had with the whole feast was how unconvincing the “demon kid” was. It was rather apparent noticing how carefully edited the film was that the evil deed she does was of a different context in order not to traumatise her in real life. Quick cuts after quick cuts, the killing scenes were so disjointed that its rather laughable. It doesn’t help either that the kid isn’t really good and this was her first acting gig. Lucky her to be the main leading role is a feature film.

And then the script and story line came. Goodness gracious, how oddly rushed it was. There wasn’t a smudge of emotional being lingered to better understand the thoughts of the folks after they had lost their only daughter to a ravaging dog. Believe it or not, only way i managed to get their emotional distress was me filling in the blanks. Rather lazy of the film maker to expect the audience to leave it to us to fill in such crucial information. Not only that, perhaps it was the strain after a long day at work or perhaps watching it in the later part of the night was the cause of the unbelievable stretch the plot device had to pull through. Understanding the desperation was indeed the main factor for the drive to get their daughter back from the dead but everything just felt forced and non coherently casual. As time ticked by, the whole premises got weirder and not in a good way either. From the stereotypical acting of the mysterious town dwellers to the strange ritual done to resurrect the dead, i kept thinking what actually went through the writer’s head and wondered if they had a major hangover the next morning. The only saving grace was where it finally ends and we get to see a glimmer of menace which was rather an interesting angle to work for but alas, that's where the reel ended. Acting for the rest of the cast was rather blend and was rather disappointed at Aiden Gillen’s performance until the final shot of his menace.

Helming the vehicle, David Keating, bless his luck on winning best director at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film, have to have made his very best of what is readily available but still puzzles at the poor choice of material. The production smelled like an amateur package and for what it’s worth, it’s a decent scare fest for a Saturday night with your buddy to poke fun at.

Movie Rating:

(I would guess anyone would be hardly awake when the film ends)

Review by Lokman B S

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