FILM CRITIC … THE WRETCHED
THE WRETCHED offers a modern update to a dark fairy tale horror and the heroism of youth faced against all odds.
Cast: John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Zarah Mahler, Kevin Bigley, Blane Crockarell, Jamison Jones, Azie Tesfai, Gabriela Quezada Bloomgarden, Richard Ellis, Madelynn Stuenkel, Ja’layah Washington, Judah Abner Paul
Distributor: IFC Midnight
Rated MA15+, 95 minutes
THE WRETCHED is a horror film that follows the life of Ben, a defiant teenage boy who is struggling to process his parents imminent divorce. Ben makes a haunting discovery whilst away on summer vacation with his dad. This discovery of a wretched creature soon leads him into a perilous crusade to stop the evil being from consuming everyone and everything.
Directed and written by Brett & Drew T. Pierce, this film was inspired by the Pierce brothers love for Roald Dahl’s The Witches and their own experience of their parents’ divorce. THE WRETCHED showcases strong scenes of gore which are done exceptionally with the aid of FX artist Eric Porn. The creative team for this film, utilised great skill in the setting and lighting of the film, executing a creepy scene with fitting imagery which persuades the audience to harbour emotions of dread.
THE WRETCHED showcases horror themes alongside an attempt of a dark fairy tale, which is evident through the involvement of a witch. Madelynn Stuenkel whom was cast as The Wretch, created a great sense of foreboding and suspense in the film. Her role was executed skilfully and is a great credit to her acting abilities. John-Paul Howard who played the role of Ben was satisfactory in his delivery and convincing. His role lacked complexity as the plot in some stages of the film didn’t meet the horror theme fully, and at times felt like a teen romance. The young and upcoming actors Blane Crockarell, Judah Abner Paul and Ja’layah Washington did a formidable job in demonstrating a plausible fear complex with great delivery.
Other starring actors for THE WRETCHED include; Piper Curda, Zarah Mahler, Kevin Bigley, Azie Tesfai, Jamison Jones, Richard Ellis and Gabriela Quezada Bloomgarden. Overall the cast collectively created a suitable depiction of horror and delivered a varying lever of fear throughout the film.
Conclusively, the film is simple and follows every horror lovers’ general expectations. However, the plot falls short and the predictable nature of the film doesn’t aid in sustaining strong horror themes.THE WRETCHED is a mild horror worth a watch!
Select cinema release in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia from JUNE 25th