Wake Wood

By Justin Hamelin

Released: 2011

Directed by David Keating

With a plot that borrows plenty from Stephen King’s ‘Pet Semetary’, I was still extremely excited to see one of Hammer Films' most recent releases.

When cheeky nine-year-old Alice is savagely killed by a ferocious dog one morning, parents Patrick (played by Aidan Gillen) and Louise (Eva Birthistle) are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Husband and wife seek refuge and move to the quaint town of Wake Wood, where it doesn’t take long for things to get weird.

While the film doesn’t throw much of a punch as far as real scares go, the eerie atmosphere throughout the 90-minute thriller is enough to keep the film rolling along. My favorite creepy scenes were when Louise is at work at the local pharmacy.

The best performance of the film comes from Timothy Spall, who plays the town patriarch Arthur. When Arthur offers the reeling couple a chance to see their daughter again, albeit for three days and three days only, you already know it’s about to go down. Reincarnating people rarely goes right.

The ‘rules’ of the rebirth are well written by Keating and Brendan McCarthy, the screenplay writers. There is excellent scenery throughout, and if you ever wanted to see a cow give birth via cesarean, you are in for a treat!

The acting is solid, the story is captivating (even if it is a microwaved synopsis) and the ending is quite fun. Note to anyone who joins a group of townsfolk to breathe life into a corpse- you might wanna lock your doors once night falls.

Soul-less, all-knowing children are always creepy. Especially when they wear rain slickers (see: 1973’s ‘Don’t Look Now’).

My Rating: 6/10

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