Wake Wood Blu-ray l DVD
DIRECTED BY: David Keating
WRITTEN BY: David Keating
STARRING: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall, Ella Connolly
Dark Sky Films
RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2011
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for horror movies. OK—so maybe it’s a little after the “most wonderful time,” but folks are always seeking out the most terrifying, twisted, bloody and gory, and downright fun horror flicks they can find, October or not.
But therein lies the problem, as well. Finding good horrors can be a troublesome task, requiring you to sit through hours of unwatchable crap in hopes of finding a bright and shiny gem from time to time. It is in these circumstances that having a friend who knows lots of gems can come in quite handy, leading you to enjoy much more scary good times and helping you to avoid the aforementioned crap.
I like to think I know of a few decent flicks I can suggest to friends and friendly strangers who ask, but by no means would I consider myself a source. That said, a new horror has played out to these eager eyes that I will gladly recommend in the future, and it’s called Wake Wood.
The movie follows Patrick (Aidan Gillen), Louise (Eva Birthistle), and their daughter Alice (Ella Connolly). The young family is joyful and extremely happy, but, of course, happy and joyful have no place in a horror movie. One day a horrific accident leaves young Alice dead, and Patrick and Louise in an inconsolable state.
In grieving, Patrick and Louise move to the small town of Wake Wood, a quaint little European village most people would dream about living in. But Wake Wood is more than it appears, and its secrets—however disturbing they might be—present an opportunity to Patrick and Louise: three days. Three more days with the daughter they lost, to say the goodbyes they never got to say.
Can they do what needs to be done to see their little girl again, or are they dancing on a line no human being should dance on?
Wake Wood isn’t a new or unique film, not at all. People go to small friendly towns with deep dark secrets in movies all the time, just like the dead are often risen. But it doesn’t have to be new and unique to be impressive, either. Hell, what is unique these days? Most movies take existing cinematic components and find new and exciting ways to use and present them, and that’s just the way of the world.
It offers up the highly contradictory combination of a lovely, serene, and picturesque setting and an dark and unsettling premise that observes human morality and the things we do or are willing to do in extraordinary situations. The movie is sort of a mixture of Hot Fuzz and Pet Sematary, which is a strangely interesting mixture. The ritual necessary to bring back the dead is disturbing, but few of us could condemn someone for wanting to see their loved ones again, if only for a few short days. And that’s one of the film’s strong points: you can’t help but put yourself in these people’s place and wonder if you would do the same thing.
Strong performances are delivered by the film’s stars, Gillen (Who plays Littlefinger on HBO’s hit new series, Game of Thrones) and Birthistle, as well as Harry Potter and The Last Samurai (title for the next movie? I vote yes!) star Timothy Spall.
Wake Wood might not be for everyone, but with the things mentioned above it is plenty worthy of being sought out by fans of the genre looking for something new to dive into.
As far as special features go, there aren’t many to enjoy. You’ll find some deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer, but nothing more.