UK Release date: 21st September 1984
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 14th September 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I first saw this film many years ago and when I noticed it in the listings recently I decided to give it another look. I have to admit I was quite impressed; for its day it stands up pretty well even by today’s standards. Now I’m not particularly big on horror movies; I find the majority of them far too predictable and made for a much younger audience; but I did enjoy this one. I’ll tell you why after this very brief summary.
The story is told through the eyes of the young Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) who lives in a small village in a forest with her mother (Tusse Silberg) and father (David Warner). Rosaleen is told stories about wolves and men by her granny (Angela Lansbury) but little does she know just how near the truth they might be. There, I said it would be short.
I remember when I first saw this film (many years ago); I found it quite slow and plodding. This time I appreciated much more the measured approach taken by the director. It gives the audience time to take in the story and become familiar with the strange world he has created. Yes, there are a few clichés in there, the medieval village with a 17th century manor house and the fact the snakes (big ones) live in an English forest did seem kind of wrong to me. Also in the ‘dislike’ column came the musical score; sorry but synth's just don’t cut it any more. May have sounded cool at the time but now it’s just too damn cheesy. Okay, so what’s to like; well, first there’s the performance of Sarah Patterson, who I though did a truly excellent job given the talent she was working with. I also liked the special effects; all mechanical with not a hint of CGI (after all, it didn’t really exist back then). I really liked the way the story was structured but it could have done without the ‘modern day’ bits tagged on to either end. Over all I found it an entertaining watch and something every horror fan should have seen at least once.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.3/10.
IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 8,905 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: No data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 54/100: (based on 8,147 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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