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