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First Hammer Horror for 30 Years Disappoints.
Wake Wood (DVD)
Member Name: kirstymc
Wake Wood (DVD)
Date: 20/04/11, updated on 20/04/11 (55 review reads)
Advantages: OK Horror Film
I am a massive Horror fan I could not wait to see the first Hammer Horror offering for 30 years so splashed out the £3.99 to watch Wake Wood on Virgin Media Movies on demand.
As a woman in her ahem 30's I was not around to appreciate Hammer Horror in it's time and although I enjoy a Hammer Horror I never really found them as scary as I am sure audiences at the time did. So I was intrigued to see if the legendary British Hammer studios could frighten the pants off a 21st century audience who had been introduced to Freddie Kreuger, The Blair Witch and Jigsaw since their last production.
Wake Wood is the story of a grieving couple Patrick (Aiden Gillen) and Louise (Eva Birthistle) who move to the rural Irish village of Wake Wood after the death of their 9 year old daughter Alice at the jaws of of mad dog. Whilst there the couple discover a strange Pagan ritual practised by the Wake Wood inhabitants which could see them re-united with their daughter for 3 days so that they can say a proper goodbye. I don't want to give anything away but as you would imagine things do not go exactly to plan.
I am sorry to say I found Wake Wood really disappointing. The story was very predictable with a sense that I had seen it all before. Within the first 30 minutes I knew exactly what was going to happen and the twist could be spotted a mile away.
The film deals with themes of birth and death displaying both as being as horrific as the other. The rural locations provide a very spooky setting it is all misty countryside and darkened woods so there is a some what scary atmosphere. The film has the traditional gore that you would expect from a Hammer Horror - Aiden Gillens character is a vet and there are some particularly gruesome scenes with animals. At one point Patrick has to delivery a calf by caesarean section and the noise the scalpel makes certainly made my toes curl. If you are a fan of blood and guts you will not be disappointed and the special effects are good if low budget.
I found that the lead characters were not very well developed so it was difficult to understand their actions or sympathise with them. There was very little chemistry between the leads which may have been more apparent due to the unavoidable comparison between them and the fantastic Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in Don't Look Now. The child playing Alice does very well but her character does not come close to other children of horror such as the brilliant Esther in the Orphan. Timothy Spall also puts in a great performance as the strange community leader Arthur but unfortunately he cannot rescue what is essentially a poor script.
I am sure Hammer Horror aficionados will disagree but for me Wake Wood shows that Hammer have not really moved with the times. I would describe the film as The Wicker Man meets Pet Cemetery but it does not come close to being anywhere near as good as either.
Wake Wood 2011 is directed by David Keating
Summary: Disappointing new Hammer Horror.