Even though they will forever remain linked to Peter Cushing, Christoper Lee and a whole variety of immortal Gothic horror movies produced during the sixties and seventies, it's still tremendously great news that Hammer Studios are back in business! The legendary British studios, of which I loved nearly everything they ever accomplished, make an exquisite comeback with the traditionally themed and old-fashioned spooky "Wake Wood". The plot borrows obvious and less obvious elements from a handful of famous genre classics, but it nevertheless stands on its own as a solid and competent horror movie that is occasionally very tense, disturbing and repulsive. Approximately one year after they tragically lost their only daughter in a rabid dog attack, the emotionally wrecked couple Patrick and Louise move to the small farmers' community of Wakewood, where he takes up his profession as a veterinary and she re-opens the local pharmacy. The town's patriarch Arthur informs Patrick and Louise that the entire town of Wakewood participates in a secluded and very secret Pagan ritual. Through the cadaver of a freshly deceased villager, Arthur can bring another dead person back to life for a period of three days, so that his/her family can spend some beautiful last moments together and properly prepare their goodbye. There are a few strict rules, however, including that the resurrected person's passing was less than one year ago and that he or she is forbidden to leave the town's perimeters. Blinded by their desire to be reunited with their daughter, the couple takes the risk of altering a few facts and convinces the town to bring back their beloved Alice. Needless to say horrible events ensue, as Alice doesn't exactly return as the cute and cherubic girl she once was As said, "Wake Wood" clearly sought inspiration with some genuine classics, like "Pet Sematery" (bringing back a dead child),"The Wicker Man" (the entire town participating in the pagan ritual) and "Don't Look Now" (processing the tragic loss of child). This isn't a negative comment; however, as writer/director David Keating processes the subject matter in a respectable way and adds a modern and personal touch wherever possible. Arguably, the film is somewhat too slow-paced and pretentious in terms of editing (too many collages and brief insignificant flashbacks),but you can't really blame a film crew for trying to be stylish, now can you? The climax is a bit of a letdown, mainly because the events are too hectic, incoherent and also all of a sudden extremely cruel and sadist. There were some violent parts and grisly images throughout the entire film, like the harrowing dog attack at the beginning and the macabre Wakewood ritual, but the last ten minutes are really quite sick. It's a shame to let the movie end in such a negative and illogical way. Terrific acting performances here as well, particularly from the reliable Timothy Spall ("Sweeney Todd" and the "Harry Potter" franchise) as the town patriarch. Very much recommended, can't wait to see what Hammer does next.
Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller
Action / Drama / Horror / Thriller
Loading video, please wait...
Still grieving the death of nine-year-old Alice - their only child - at the jaws of a crazed dog, vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where they learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with Alice. The couple find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree terms with Arthur, the village's leader, a far bigger question looms - what will they do when it's time for Alice to go back?
Uploaded by: FREEMAN