Let Me In and all-around disappointment The Resident, the studio blasts back with the kind of film only they used to make, and it's a pretty gripping horror flick.
Wake Wood is the name of a rural township, and Patrick and Louise are a bereaved couple who relocate there after being struck by tragedy. Their young daughter was killed, and their marriage has suffered from their collective grief. But Rabbit Hole it ain't, because Wake Wood has a secret. Through a dark ritual, the town elects to help out Patrick and Louise, but it means meddling in forces that soon spiral out of their control.
It's no disservice to the film to be so vague about its story, because the major turn-off for some will be that it's very predictable. That's generally because the way that horror films are structured and the way their characters are built are recognisable, but the predictability of the story doesn't get in the way of the fact that it's a very well made film. In fact, the things that are good about it almost obscure the inevitable from the viewer.
There might not be much unexpected about her actual character of course, but as I've said, I didn't mind the fact that I could see my way to the film's conclusion from the first ten minutes because I was enjoying the film on the whole. There are a couple of missteps, like the odd sensationalised surgery scenes, carried over from The Resident. You could argue that the animal C-section performed by veterinarian Patrick foreshadows later events, but it still seems kind of strange to me.
But on the plus side, it has to be said that this is something different, the likes of which I haven't seen in a horror film for a good length of time. Its roots snake through The Wicker Man and Don't Look Now, but it never feels less vital for its obvious influences. It's not merely the performance, but the slightly grimy look of the whole thing. It's not a clinical or over-polished film like The Resident- its ends are not cauterised and cleaned up but left hanging, to the effect of making it feel very edgy and intense.
Wake Wood is now available on DVD.
If you've seen Wake Wood, why not share your comments below?
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.