Wake Wood (2011)

Posted: February 18, 2012 in 2 stars, Reviews
Tags: , ,

So you’re watching a movie and it basically goes like this:

1.  Don’t bring your kid back from the dead, dumbass.

2.  No, I’m serious.  That never turns out well.

3.  You see?  What did I tell you?  Why have no parents in the history of horror ever had as much sense as the ones in “The Monkey’s Paw” who wished their zombie kid away again?  Don’t people have to read that in grade school anymore?

4.  No, I said don’t bring people back from the dead, dumbass who is unable to learn from experience.

5.  And now you’re going to – Jesus Christ. I wash my hands of you, you nutcase.

Quick: which movie are you watching?  Pet Sematary or Wake Wood?

Really, I’d tell you the plot of Wake Wood but if you’ve seen Pet Sematary you’re pretty much familiar.  Eva Birthistle and her gratifyingly hot husband Aidan Gillen lose their nine-year-old daughter to a freak dog attack.  Trying to start over, they move to the small village of Wake Wood.  Strange Goings-On lead them to the discovery that the citizens of the village can bring people back from the dead – but only for three days, so you can say goodbye.  Sadly, they cannot guarantee that the aforementioned dead will return quite right.

Wake Wood is one of the first movies to come out of the resurrected Hammer Studios.  It’s not nearly as satisfactory as one would have hoped from that beloved studio.  The sad truth is that Wake Wood is derivative and unoriginal, offering nothing over the book version of Pet Sematary and nothing over the movie but Aidan Gillen’s glorious ass in jeans.   It doesn’t even have Fred Gwynne getting slaughtered by a toddler.

It wasn’t a bad movie.  It was a little slow in places, but the acting was good and the cinematography was moody and atmospheric.  The ending did not, as endings too often do, let the movie down with  a thud.  It’s just that there was nothing about it that didn’t leave me going “Yep, seen that before.”

So what’s the verdict?  Two stars. If I’d never seen Pet Sematary I probably would have liked it better, though I didn’t like the fact that the harm against animals seemed gratuitous even for the animal-hating horror industry.  It would have been much better if the filmmakers had just photoshopped Aidan Gillen and Eva Birthistle over Dale Midkiff and Denise Crosby and re-released Pet Sematary instead.


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