11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wake Wood... but not Hammer
Despite the cover of the DVD showing the Hammer logo, Wake Wood is only presented by Hammer, but not officially a Hammer movie. Exclusive Films were involved, but if you watch any of the credits, Hammer Films are not actually listed. Despite this, the film itself is very good, if a little slow in places. But the blood and gore scenes are full on, right from the outset...
Published on 30 Mar 2011 by Kevin Gascoyne
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting film.
This was quite a good film. It could have earned four stars for itself apart from the fact that at times I was left cringing at some of the acting, camera work and effects. The story line itself is however brilliant. A simple idea with interesting twists and turns.
It's a shame this film didn't have a slightly bigger budget as it could be a huge hit.
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by Mo
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4.0 out of 5 stars The fall and rise of Hammer!,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)I have yet to see double oscar winner Hilary Swank in the Resident.
Although I really enjoyed Wake Wood. Mixing effectively elements from films such as Pet Semetery, Don't look now and even a nod toward Catherine Valmont's resurrection in the Living Dead Girl.
I would however like the Studio to remake old Favourites ie, Count Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman with bigger budgets, SFX and more graphic imagery than was previously allowed in the 1960's and 1970's.
Sadly, for horror fans anyway, there are no immediate plans to do this.
Watch this space!
3.0 out of 5 stars quite a good watch.,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)this was a good film to watch but i wouldnt say it was one for the collection. a couple who sadly lose there daughter move to a new area where they stumble upon a cult. they offer to let them have there daughter back for 3 days only but she must return to the dead when the times up. but there are a few conditions and things take turns for the worse. the daughter comes back bad. remenided me of the stephen king classic pet semertary but just not as good obviously. still it was a good watch and did enjoy it. just not to the extent where i will be buying it.
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and occasionally gruesome tale that slightly suffers from a low budget,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)Aiden Gillen is gradually proving to be an enjoyable actor to watch the more experience he gets, and in this film he plays a grieving father extremely well, as he and his wife ( played by Eva Birthistle) retreat to the tiny country town of Wake Wood to get over the death of their daughter.
After some nice scene setting and some very nicely built tension, it becomes clear something slightly odd is going on in the town and they soon discover that local lord Timothy Spall leads a pagan group that can offer to bring back their beloved daughter for 3 short days, so that they can make their peace and say their goodbyes.
There are 2 catches - she has to have been dead less than a year, and they have to be willing to give her up at the end of the 3 days.
Needless to say, little goes to plan.
There are some fascinating pagan ritual scenes that are gruesomely inventive (including a real squeamish cringer moment), and the tension is excellently maintained.
The little girl is played well, and when things go wrong, some truly shocking excess and gore is presented without warning.
Oddly, the production is slightly hampered by its budget the closer it gets to the climax after a very smooth run. One very badly matched sequence with a barn door is clearly an unfinished effects shot, and many of the car sequences are blatantly shot 'day for night' while inserted amidst real night-shots. It distracts a little from the ending, which is a shame. All in all though, don't let it put you off as this is a well written and well performed little chiller that sticks in the brain.
4.0 out of 5 stars wakewood,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)Wasnt sure what to expect after reading the reviews. But thoroughly enjoyed Wake Wood. It is a creepy horror film that leaves you feeling a little unnerved afterwards. What will happen NEXT? Good cast and well acted. Some quite graphic violence in the film but not over the top. The ending also was good.
Excellent film would recommend watching
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, gory and thought provoking,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)Was a bit surprised at some of the more negative reviews of this film. This was horror at its best. Showing how real-life tragedy can make people capable of anything - in a quest for more time with their loved ones. Unrealistic in the real world - which is why this movie is so good. It covers the subject of bereavement with the supernatural. Other reviewers have covered the plot line - so I wont repeat it all. The film moves along at a good pace - and is creepy and very atmospheric. Timothy Spall is brilliant as the village's Elder. And the young girl who plays Alice is terrifyingly scary at times - in a role she can act - but not watch on the big screen at a Cinema. There are also a couple of really gory and believable scenes - which shock, and take your breath away. There will always be people who criticize films and this film wasnt perfect. But - what it did succeed in doing, was making the viewer go away and ask questions of themselves. Thought provoking - well worth watching.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pet Semetary with more gore and less context!,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)To be honest when I watched this at the weekend I thought it was okay, but on reflection 'Wake Wood' is pretty poor.
It didn't get off to a great start with some laughable continuity. As the lead couple run around the woods the sky/scene inexplicably flicks between the dead of night/pitch darkness and late afternoon dimness. It does this over and over again! Wake Wood is indeed a very odd place!
Without going into too much detail, the main causes for concern are:
1. It's a rushed film and as such lacks any suspense
2. It feels too similar to the far superior 'Pet Semetary' Pet Sematary  [DVD]
3. If someone said to me 'we'll bring back the dead for you' I'd be rather doubting, yet these pair seem to take an unbelievable 'okay, let's give it a whirl' stance. Again, a tad odd.
All things equal, there's too much wrong with 'Wake Wood' to recommend to anyone....and that 'Pet Semetary' similarity is too close to even say it's new or original.
A ropey two stars. Avoid.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alice Sweet Alice,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)Following the death of their daughter Alice, savaged by a vicious dog, City couple Patrick(Aiden Gillan) and Louise(Eva Birthistle) move to the country to a small village called Wakewood. They seem to be getting their lives back together but in reality the grieving couple have no come to terms with Alice's tragic death. Then, one night when their car breaks down and they go looking for help at the house of village 'elder' Arthur(Timothy Spall), Louise witnesses a horrifying ritual that will change both of their lives forever. Patrick and Louise are offered an oppurtunity to have their daughter back in the land of the living for three days, a time period that will allow them time to say goodbye properly. However, they haven't been totally honest with Arthur, and the Alice that returns from the grave is a very different child to the one that was lost to Patrick and Louise. Nature has been tampered with as the inhabitants of Wakewood are about to find out to their cost...
First of all, I think it is important to get one thing out of the way. Whether or not this is a cast iron Hammer film really isn't a gauge as to whether Wake Wood is a good horror film. Following the films' progress with interest, it seemed that every time I read a new article on the internet, Hammer was not involved with the project, only to be involved again the following day. I think it is important as some reviewers seem to be marking the film down simply because it doesn't conform to their own ideasd of a 'Hammer film'.
So, is this film any good in its own right, forgetting the links to Hammer?. Well, I found it to be be a very enjoyable, if highly derivative horror, quite old fashioned with real characters and ideas driving along what is in reality quite a thin story. Okay, Don't Look Now and Pet Semetary are obviously big inspirations to the makers of the film, but to be fair they have never denied this.
The best aspect to the film is that it is grounded in reality, and explores what happens just out of earshot or in the corner of one's eye. When Patrick and Louise discover and are made aware of this secret world, tragedy and horror soon follow, but only because they are not prepared for the consequences of their actions. I have read some reviewers finding it amazing that the couple would follow Arthur's initial advice. I would just say that grief does strange things to an individuals rationale.
As well as the fine performances from Gillan, Birthistle and Spall, I think child actor Ella Connely should get a mention as she delivers a very fine performance for someone so young. Other plus points include the creepy scenes of Alice's rebirth and the initially horrifying climatic scenes.
There really isn't very much wrong with Wake Wood, and although it doesn't contain any lesbian vampires, mittel-European villages with their very own castle or rubber bats, it is important to remember that this is a Fantastic Films production that Hammer has leant its name to. I'm not making fun of Hammer as I love all their films, but please try to judge this film on its own merits not on whether or not it fits your particular Hammer stereotype.
A very fine effort at making an old school horror, with a nice array of extras on the disc. 4 out of 5.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars cos 'I love it', despite it's flaws,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)Aiden Gillen and Eva Birthistle move to Wakewood after their daughter is mauled to death by a dog. After accidentally seeing a pagan ritual the 'leader' of the community Timothy Spall offers to bring back their daughter for three days so they can say goodbye. However, things do not go according to plan!
You may ask why give this film 5 stars when I found flaws (such wooden acting from Eva, at times a script that is little jarring, and a silly ending.) The answers are I love Hammer (and yes I do know Hammer only presented the movie), I love Timothy Spall and his performance here is so commanding, there are some great scenes, in particular the daughter's death, the ritual scenes, the love scene (surely a nod to Don't Look Now,) great music and a sense of quiet uneasiness not seen in many horror movies these days.
I loved it. I hope Hammer use Timothy Spall regularly in the future.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY disappointing,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)Hey - Do you remember the Stephen King book 'Pet Sematary"? Or maybe you saw the film version - you know where the little kid comes back from the dead and kills people, but the father doesn't learn and does the same to his wife? Yeah? Good wasn't it.
Well if you've seen/read 'Pet Sematary' don't bother with this - the plot is nearly identical.
What a waste of money.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alice in Chunderland,
This review is from: Wake Wood [DVD] (DVD)A horror film with some degree of intelligence is a comparatively rare thing but occasionally we come across such a production and what an improvement it is. Wake Wood is intelligent enough to evoke questions: What would you do if you could bring a deceased loved one back to life for a limited amount of time and if this were possible, how easy would it be to let that person go? Such an opportunity presents itself to a young married couple, veterinary surgeon Patrick and wife Louise, who have lost their daughter Alice in a terrible dog attack. Local big man Arthur (the ever reliable Timothy Spall - avuncular and sociable yet condescending and sinister) proposes that this is possible. There are rules of course: Alice can only return for three days, there are boundaries within which the child must remain and the couple have to stay in the village. For ever and ever and ever.
The couple don't take a lot of convincing that this is a good idea but rules are meant to be broken and they are, as Patrick and Louise, having had their daughter restored in a gruesome but fascinating ritual, naturally want to prevent her from returning to the grave. There are further complications as the villagers are of the opinion that Alice is `not right' and the parents have omitted a vital fact.
So the ingredients are laid out for a promising feast and it's an intriguing premise, shot with an emphasis on atmosphere but the half decent storyline ensures that once the conditions are broken things not only turn bad for the couple but also for the film itself.
The final half hour spins off in another direction with the little girl embarking an a murderous spree which despite having some reference to the earlier ritual is largely gratuitous and seems to be there merely to justify the `horror' tag.
There are references to several other films (as homage rather than as a direct rip-off), and the direction is handled well by David Keating. The atmosphere is suitably brooding and the key players make a decent job of a script which sadly skips over the couple's dilemma. Birth, death, rebirth, love, grief and Ceasarian section are key themes.
Enjoyable and well constructed but answers to the big questions are sacrificed in favour of unnecessary violence. Mainstream cinema evidently cannot afford to be too cerebral.
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Wake Wood [DVD] by David Keating (DVD - 2011)