The Horror Honeys: Sometimes, dead is better

Sometimes, dead is better

A Supernatural Honey Review - by Suzanne

Wake Wood (2010)

When news of this film started circulating, I was excited. Hammer Films was coming back and it sounded like a great premise for a horror film. Upon my first viewing, I was beyond disappointed. I decided I was a bit harsh and wanted to give it another go. 

Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Eva Birthistle (The Children) and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter films) lead the cast of this Irish horror film. Patrick (Gillen) and Louise (Birthistle) lose their 9 year old daughter to a vicious dog mauling. Trying to pick up the pieces, they move to the small town of Wake Wood. The townspeople are strange, but welcoming. One evening, after the car breaks down, Louise witnesses an horrific ritual where someone is "birthed" out of a bloody, body shaped pod.

Local big wig, Arthur (Spall), goes to the couple and offers them the deal of a lifetime. They can have their Alice back, but only for 3 days. In that time, they must say their proper good-byes. At the end of the 3 days, Alice must go back. There are three conditions they must agree to or there will be serious consequences. The first condition is the deceased cannot be so for more than a year. The second is, once back, they cannot go beyond the boundaries of the town. Third, if they go through with it, they are bound to the town and it's secrets for the rest of their lives. This all seems reasonable, right?

Patrick and Louise agree, but right off the bat, they fail the first condition. You see, Alice has been dead for more than a year and some of the town's residents are wise to something being amiss. They make their concerns known and fight to deny her resurrection. Dun, dun, dun! Oh, she comes back fine, initially, but after the first day passes, things start to go south. 

Here we go with another creepy kid movie. I'm not sure why I do this to myself other than reinforce that fact I do not want kids. This kid, Alice, played too convincingly by Ella Connolly, is deadly. She does a lot of damage in the course of two days.

I have to say, upon this second viewing, I liked it a bit more than the first. I was expecting so much the first time, I was angry when those expectations weren't met. This time, I was a bit more forgiving. 

The acting is top notch. Gillen and Birthistle have great chemistry and convey the pain and anger of two people who are barely holding on after their loss. After Alice returns and they come back together, it's touching and sexy. When they realize what Alice has done and know she has to go back, they are a solid team. Sadly, because of their dishonesty, they will suffer more loss. I won't tell you what.

Timothy Spall has always creeped me out as Wormtail in the Harry Potter movies, but here you aren't sure if he's evil or just protective. He really has an understated, but powerful, presence.

There is plenty of gore and lots of blood. Most of the effects are practical and well done. I only have one real complaint in this area. When Alice tries to leave the town boundaries, she begins to come apart. However, when she is brought back, the gore just digitally disappears from skin and clothing. It's pretty lame.

Filmed mostly on location in Ireland, it has a damp, dreary look and feel. The only sunny day happened to be the day of Alice's return.

So what's my big problem with this movie? It's slow and predictable. Some people have called it a Pet Sematary ripoff and I wouldn't entirely disagree. My other issue is that, although this is a Hammer production, nowhere is Hammer's name on this film. I thought it odd when watching the opening credits so I sat through the end credits as well. Nope, not there. I guess they weren't too proud of it. Maybe if they had somehow worked a Christopher Lee cameo in there, they would have taken credit. 
From what I've seen, people either love it or hate it. I am somewhere in the middle. For me, it's just meh.

Supernatural Honey Verdict: 3 resurrections out of 5