Review: Wake Wood

Firstly, apologies that the blog has been a bit quiet recently (if you care/or have even noticed). I sit typing this with a caramac and listening to George Harrison in quite a peaceful state, unfazed by the impending uni deadlines. But what a film we have to talk about here. Picture some great elements from Don't Look Now, The Wicker Man, Pet Sematary, the feel of classic Hammer and a little splash of Emmerdale, and you have Wake Wood.

The film follows vet, Patrick (Aidan Gillen) and his wife Louise (Eva Birthistle) grieving from the death of their nine year old daughter, Alice, who was savagely killed by a ravenous dog. The pair relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where the residents (Lead by the marvelous Timothy Spall) perform a pagan ritual that can give the couple three more days with their departed daughter. Since this is a horror film, you know some things are best left alone...

After being rather unmoved by Let Me In  (partly because I wanted Hammer's big return to be a British venture) and after being disappointed by The Resident (convinced it was going to be Sir Christopher Lee's big Hammer comeback - see review for more details), I didn't have massive expectations for Wake Wood. However, it's a first class piece of horror cinema. The low budget vibe and countryside location give the film an unsettling atmosphere, well shot by David Keating. Some nice little homages to the above mentioned horror classics and strong heartfelt performances from Gillen and Birthistle carry the film well. There's also a deliciously hammy turn from thesp Timothy Spall as the country squire/pagan leader - this shows us there's plenty of stars willing to lend their name to new Hammer. There's quite a lot of gore, yet it's all done quite well and doesn't feel like gore for the sake of gore.  

Unfortunately the film ends up going down the route of 'evil little girl' horror, which is a bit overused now but the rest of the film is so enjoyable that it doesn't really matter.

So if anyone from Hammer Films is reading this - more low budget British Horror. You hit the nail on the head with this gem! You can buy it here .

Wake Wood 6454438347350265910

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