The Wretched review by Bobby Blakey
I love all things horror so when something comes along that has a look that instantly catches the eye I get excited to see it. With the latest from IFC Films The Wretched that cover image just looks cool and creepy yet doesn’t tell a lot which I love. I had bypassed the trailer on this one on purpose hoping to dive in fresh and hoping to get he creepy and possibly disturbing imagery that it promotes. Could this be one of those surprise evil beauties that brings the dark magic or will it fail to root itself into the horror genre as required viewing?
The Wretched follows Ben, a rebellious teenage boy, who is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina in order to gain some form of discipline following his parent’s separation. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his fathers new girlfriend. Bens problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door. A malevolent spirit from the woods has taken a hold of the parents and starts playing a sinister game of house, preying upon the children and wiping away any trace of their existence. Ben’s suspicions of the supernatural horrors go unheeded and he launches a perilous crusade in order to put an end to the skin-walking witches reign of terror.
This is one of those films that has some bright spots and potential but at the end of it all is pretty average. The overall tone reminded me of something like Fright Night with the crazy things going on and only one kid seems to know about it. Of course no one believes him so he is set out to discover the truth himself which in of itself makes for a fun flick but the often slow pace and numerous teen drama tropes thrown in bog down valuable time. There is the stereotypical bully situation and love interest that both ultimately go nowhere for the bigger narrative. Thankfully the horror side of it offers some cool visuals and creepy moments that help to step it up a bit.
After one of the early moments of something climbing out of a deer carcass I was all in and ready for some fun gore and scares, but while there are a few there isn’t too much more beyond that to really make it anything more than another average entry into the horror genre. I didn’t hate it, but nothing really stayed with me and for this subject it should have had that haunting or disturbing imagery to do just that.
Decide for yourself as it is a decent flick that some will no doubt enjoy. Grab your copy of The Wtretched available now on Blu-ray and DVD from IFC Films.