Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Review: The Wretched

Release date: May 1, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Jamison Jones, Zarah Mahler

Ben (Howard) recently moved in with his dad (Jones) for the summer.  However, when Ben's neighbor begins to act odd and her children disappear, he takes it upon himself to investigate what is happening.  This leads to a whole lot of old school horror suspense and suspicion as Ben tries to find out what is happening while making sure to keep himself, his friends, and his family safe.

The Wretched feels like an old school horror movie. It is all suspense, good camera work, and a slowly progressing story that just keeps the sense of dread going.  It has a limited cast of characters in a relatively small number of settings, but this just means that things aren't constantly moving.  The film takes a long time to get going and even when things happen, they usually occur off camera, which contributes to this sense of dread with the film.  The sound design really helps this as when the creature is hinted to be in the area, the movie plays clicks and hisses similar to how the Predator sounded.  It's a nice touch that helps keep you on edge.  And another thing I really appreciated about this film is the lack of CG.  The Wretched has old school effects, just good make up, acting, and blood with very little noticeable CG.  It's a nice departure from a lot of modern movies and one that I definitely appreciate whenever I see it.  

However, although I really liked the cast some of the acting by the cast was less believable and felt forced; especially that of the social antagonists.  The main characters were good, but because the overall cast of the film was small, anyone being off is noticeable.  And the story does definitely progress slowly, which I liked, but I could see that being a negative.  Much of the slowdown could be attributed to the focus on suspense, and not on action, in this film, but it is something to keep in mind.  And the story ends with a twist that seems to come out of nowhere without hints to see it coming.  I actually thought the twist was interesting, but I would have liked it to have been hinted at rather than seeming like a convenient way to end the film.  These minor criticisms aside, The Wretched is a good, old school horror movie. 

The Wretched feels like an old school horror movie with an enjoyable cast, a ton of suspense, and a refreshing lack of computer graphics.

Rent it.

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