Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wake Wood (DVD Review)

DVD review of the awesome Irish/UK Horror film Wake Wood starring Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Ella Connolly and Timothy Spall

Image: Courtesy of eOne Films

Dir: David Keating (The Last of the High Kings)
Cast: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Ella Connolly, Timothy Spall, Ruth McCabe, Amelia Crowley
UK/Ireland, 2011

Reason to see: Horror with creepy kid and pagan potential

Wow, wow, wow! I loved Wake Wood. LOVED it. I can be hesistent when the first time I'm hearing about a horror film is when it's being released on DVD, but I always remain hopeful and Wake Wood is reason to keep up hope for horror.

In the film we follow a family who is relatively new to the quiet rural neighbourhood of Wake Wood including veterinarian Patrick (Aidan Gillen of "The Wire" and "Game of Thrones") and pharmacist Louise (Eva Birthistle). The town has a very quaint and has a bit of a sleepy quality to it, which fits the sombre tone of the couples relationship and gives the audience a 'something amiss' idea.

This 'somethings amiss' is one of the many things I love about the film, which very successfully portrays tone and style without revealing too much at any given time. You always slightly unsettled and looking for more, which is exactly where I like to be with horror films. And it is, without a doubt, a horror film. Although it can be quiet and quirky, it's also dark, shocking and grisly. I think I might have even had to look away from the screen, which is a very rare thing. Add that it's got a haunting minimalist score, delves into ritual, binding and nature and you can't help but get creeped out. The cast is filled out by Timothy Spall who in a refreshing turn as a oddly-normal-give-it's-horror role of the local leader of sorts Arthur, and Ella Connolly who is very strong as Patrick & Louise's daughter Alice.

Wake Wood is a great horror film with restrained but potent visceral imagery that's disturbing, but always fitting to the moment in time. It's well acted, has a great human story and haunting ideas that are easy to embrace for both the characters and the audience. It's smart, creepy and atmospheric and that is one of my favourite mixes for horror. I highly recommend checking it out.

: disturbing imagery, grisly imagery

DVD Extras:
  • Deleted Scenes (8 scenes, 14 minutes) really nice selection of deleted scenes, many are short and not-so-sweet and a few have a really nice high creep factor, others can either add to the mystery and strangeness of the setting and story. Most are short deleted but there is also 1 long extended scenes included.
  • Trailer
Wake Wood is available on DVD & BluRay as of June 28, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca (DVD) & Amazon.com (DVD)

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again
I highly recommend it horror fans

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© Shannon Ridler, 2011

Ella Connolly in Wake Wood

Timothy Spall in Wake Wood

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