#240 -- Wake Wood (2011)

Rating: 3 / 5
Director: David Keating

Going into this, I wasn't really sure how it was going to go. The synopsis on Netflix said that a grieving couple get the chance to see their dead daughter again, and that it doesn't go quite so well. That didn't tell me for sure that this was going to turn out to be about a killer child, but it doesn't take long to figure that out.

Patrick and Louise's young daughter, Alice, was killed by a German Shephard. Patrick was a veterinarian, told Alice about the dog, and she decided to visit it on her way to school. She tried to feed it some kind of meat, but it wanted her instead. In their grief, the couple moved to a small town called Wake Wood, where Patrick continued working on animals, and Louise worked as a pharmacist. One night, their car broke down and they

red something very strange going on in the backyard: some kind of ritual. Louise was so afraid that she ran home, but they were confronted soon after. Arthur, Patrick's boss and the leader of the rituals, tells them that they can see their daughter again for three days.

For the ritual to work, there are a few things that had to be done. First, the person they wished to raise couldn't be dead for more than a year. They needed a fresh corpse (and since one of Patrick's co-workers was killed by a bull, that was no problem), and some kind of relic that was linked to Alice. That was also no problem, because if it meant they'd get to see her again, Patrick and Louise had no qualms about digging up their daughter's grave to retrieve a locket they gave her for her birthday. The problem was that Alice had been dead for more than a year, but they thought it was worth the risk to lie to Arthur about that. That wasn't a good idea. Some rules are made to be broken, but some are in place for a reason. The reason was that, if the person had been dead for over a year, the ritual wouldn't work quite right.

Alice seemed fairly normal at first, aside from the fact that she returned with a different eye color. But then she turned bad and starting killing everything. She started with their dog, then a pony, then the bull that killed the man I spoke about earlier. She then moved on to the townspeople. There was a certain kind of necklace that could calm the returned people, but it didn't work on Alice. Nothing would calm her. There was also a rule that they could not leave the town once she returned, and if they tried, she started to die again. I don't see why this would fail too, since nothing else about her was the same. But that's just me. With other people, it was easy to get them to return to the land of the dead once their three days were up; but with Alice, they had to work to get her back into the ground.

I thought Wake Wood was a fairly good movie. It was interesting--kind of like a new take on Pet Sematary--and it was done well. The atmosphere was creepy an the cinematography was wonderful. All of the actors and actresses did wonderful jobs portraying their characters, and the effects--though limited--were good. It wasn't scary at all, though. If you're looking for some fear factor, you'll have to look somewhere else. I think the most interesting aspect of this story is how the couple dealt with the grieving of their lost child, and what they were willing to do to get her back. Though I would have liked a little more action, and a little more scares, I thought it was an enjoyable movie.

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