Saturday, 7 January 2012

They're Back

'Wake Wood' is heralded as a Hammer Production on the poster, although the print I saw didn't have any reference to the revitalised studio whatsoever. It's not a deal breaker, however, as 'Wake Wood' is an interesting film regardless of its lineage and, if Hammer say they're back, then I'm very glad to hear it.

It tells of a married couple who move to a remote Irish village to try and recover from their horrible death of their only child. Wake Wood is, however, no ordinary place and, after a while, the village patriach / magus (Tim Spall) offers the couple an extraordinary deal: he can perform a ritual that will give them their daughter back - but only for three days.

'Wake Wood' doesn't offer any surprises - in fact, it all goes pretty much as you would expect, i.e. badly - and its influences are sometimes too brazenly evoked (yes, we get it, it's a bit like 'Don't Look Now') but there is something about its oblique editing and the beautiful but desolate long held shots of flocks of birds, telegraph wires and the incessantly churning wind turbines that creates an atmosphere of foreboding that keeps the viewer slightly off balance throughout (wind turbines are something of a new UK horror signifier, on the way to cliche). It's also really creepy, a term that's used more and more but seemingly understood less and less. Most of all, it's the sort of film that the UK industry should be making: it's what we're good at, after all, and it's a welcome late addition to the canon.

1 comment:

  1. Saw Wakewood just before Christmas. Have to agree with you about Wakewood not offering any surprises, and in places is very obvious.
    But having said that I really enjoyed the film. I liked the pace and creepy & eerie feel of sadness that seems to hang over the village in the film.