I gotta say that before I begin to cast my thoughts on the film, I am definitely not of the right demographic age-wise. The film is aimed primarily towards Gen Z and with that zest for life comes the rekindled imaginations of yester-year.
Much like Disturbia did for the Millenials, The Burbs for the X Generation, and Rear Window did for the Baby Boomer generation, we have a protagonist predominantly placed in his home where he witnesses foul play going on next door. In this instance, we follow Ben, “a defiant teenage boy” who has been sent to stay with his father during the summer. His parents are currently going through a divorce which lends some weight as to why Ben has started to go off the rails. During his stay, Ben slowly discovers that all is not as it seems in this marina town, and not only that but appears to be possessed by some weird demonic witch like creature from the woods that we later learn to discover is a cross between Black Annis and the Boo Hag.
There are some genuinely decent moments in here for the hardened soul and the creature fx are believable enough to blend into the landscape, but the fear itself is often all too “twee” and never stirs the heart.
Despite this, the performances and characters are engaging enough for you to care about Ben’s plight with some decent twists in the mix, that on face value surprise and delight, but on closer inspection, doesn’t necessarily add up. Sometimes the MacGuffin is enough to change or suspend disbelief that you forgive its faults, but here they jar and the smoke and mirrors are left in plain sight, shattering any vague illusion that the director was hoping to achieve.
Another sugar coated saccharine sweet horror film that lives in the shadows of exceptional movies without offering an ounce of originality.
If you like fluffy, light hearted horror, then by all means give this a whirl, but from this writer’s perspective, The Wretched struggles to lift itself above a mediocre horror… just.
- Saul Muerte
Wretched is screening now until 18 July in Foxtel Store
In selected Cinemas 25 June onwards – Cinema List below
VICTORIA & TASMANIA
June 25 Nova Carlton, VIC
June 25 Wallis Mildura, VIC
June 25 Peninsula Cinemas Rosebud, VIC
June 25 Horsham Centre Cinema, VIC
June 25 Ararat Cinema, VIC
June 25 Metro Cinemas Bernie, TAS
NEW SOUTH WALES
July 2 Griffith Cinemas
July 2 Bathurst Metro Cinemas
July 2 Metro Cinemas Lake Haven
July 9 Laurieton Plaza Cinemas
July 9 Saraton Theatre Grafton
QUEENSLAND & NORTHERN TERRITORY
June 25 Alice Springs Cinema, NT
June 25 Cineplex Hawthorne, QLD
June 25 Cineplex Redbank, QLD
June 25 Cineplex South Bank, QLD
June 25 Cineplex Victoria Point, QLD
July 16, Malanda Cinemas, QLD
June 25 Wallis Mitchem, SA
June 25 Wallis Mt Barker, SA
June 25 Wallis Noarlunga, SA
June 25 Wallis Piccadilly, SA
June 25 Esperance Cinema, WA
Available to rent On Demand from 2 September
via Google Play, Fetch TV, Microsoft & Apple TV