Sunday, 9 October 2011

Film Review: WAKE WOOD (2011)

Wake Wood poster Co-Writer/Director: David Keating
Running time: 90 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Drama/Horror/Thriller
UK Release date: 25th March 2011

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 9th October 2011.


I hadn’t heard much about this film before giving it a viewing. Reading just one review was enough for me to give it a look. I must admit I liked this atmospheric low budget horror flick, it definitely has the edge over a lot of the better funded more recent efforts on offer. It’s a tale about the loss of a child and the hope that the parents might bring her back, albeit temporarily… but possibly at a cost. I’ll give you my thoughts after this brief summary.

WW-2 Grieving after the loss of their young daughter, Alice; Patrick and Louise move to the small Irish town of Wakewood (that’s how it is spelt on the sign… I’m unsure why they filmmakers felt they had to change it for the title). Patrick is a veterinarian and has a job working for Arthur, now preparing for retirement. Louise is a pharmacist and runs the local chemist shop. They are both still depressed about Alice but Louise feels the loss more and wants to leave. One night they stumble upon a strange, almost pagan, ceremony in which a person is “reborn” (for want of a better word). Arthur visits them that night and tells them there may be a way to bring their daughter back, but for just three days. They are so desperate they agree, but are they willing to abide by the strict rules Arthur lays out before them?... I will leave it there so as not to enrage the gods of the Spoiler Police.

WW-5 With a haunting musical score by Michael Convertino, I found this film very atmospheric and quite poignant at times. Very reminiscent of earlier films like ‘The Wicker Man’ (original version) and ‘Don’t Look Now’. Great performances by all of the leading cast; Aidan Gillen was excellent as Patrick, as was Eva Birthistle as Louise. Timothy Spall was up to his usual excellent standard as Arthur and the young Ella Connolly did a really great job as Alice.

WW-3 Being a low-budget film, there are many companies listed as being involved in the production. The most recognisable being Hammer Film Productions. This is the first of what I hope will be many new films that may bring this famous company back from the darkness (at it were). I really like the look and feel of the movie. Filmed on location on Ireland, it has a kind of desolate feel to it that adds to the haunting quality given to it by the score and the script. There is a nice little twist at the end that may surprise a few, but I thought it quite fitting. Probably the best horror film I’ve seen this year… Recommended.

My Score: 7.4/10.

IMDb Score: 5.5/10 (based on 1,712 votes at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84/100 (based on 19 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

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Daniel Mumby said...

Good review man, I liked it about the same as you. Here are my thoughts if you're interested:

AdamMoody said...

Wow, I am astonished that this actually might be good. I thought it looked really lousy, maybe I am wrong. Good review

Rodders said...

I've heard of this film, but the reviews I heard didn't exactly make me enthusiastic to see this film. glad to hear you enjoyed it, great review

HarleyQuinn said...

great review Andy! I don't think I will see this one though