Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cry_Wolf (Jeff Wadlow, 2005)

The characters that populate Cry_Wolf are in desperate need of some extracurricular activities, because never in all my years of watching campus-based horror have I seen a group of students so starved for entertainment. The amount of time and effort they put into their prank went well beyond your typical flaming bags of lemur poop, the forced drinking of puss and misdemeanours involving ladles. Seriously, their stunt made all these campus classics seem like a walk near a park. Now, I'm not giving anything away here, but their idea of a joke is to invent a serial killer, complete with a distinct wardrobe and a snazzy weapon, and spread the news of their fabricated sophomore-stalker via a deviously written e-mail. Of course, someone starts to take the joke too far, and pretty soon, there are sightings of a knife-wielding maniac in an orange ski-mask wandering around campus. There's a moment early on, where they show a slickly edited montage of stab-centric deaths, that pretty much ruined the movie for me. I mean, if I know the order and the fashion of each murder before they occur, why am I still watching? Sure, the rug is pulled from under us in the third act, but that still doesn't hide the fact this movie is devoid of any decent kills. Believe me, I would love to go on a gore-tinged tirade and describe all the tasty mutilations that take place in this film in lurid detail. But, alas, that ain't gonna happen. Because you know what? There isn't a single morsel of muderery goodness to describe. Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Ništa, Ingenting.

Okay, was it just me or was Julian Morris' overt Britishness a tad grating at times? Don't get me wrong, I love British people (I eat beans on toast every other morning), but as Owen, a troubled new student with an indifferent father, Julian's accent seemed obscenely pompous. Though, I must admit, I did find the way he said 'Dodger' to be strangely alluring.

Speaking of accents, what's the deal with Gary Cole's?!? Talk about a bizarre casting choice (his English accent seemed to come and go).

However, it's nowhere near as bizarre as the casting of Jon Bon Jovi as a journalism professor. I guess they cast him because Bret Michaels was at a bandanna tying symposium in The Bahamas. Oh, and I cringed every time Jared Padalecki would say 'Dude' or 'O-Dog' (his nickname for Owen).

The one bright spot in Cry_Wolf was Oakville, Ontario native, Lindy Booth (Wrong Turn). She's utterly captivating as Dodger, a whip-smart temptress who can make guys fall in love with her with the simple act of tucking her hair behind her ears. You see, I couldn't help but notice that the other students would gravitate towards her whenever she would fix her hair. It's a subtle layer to her character that I found to be quite intoxicating. Anyway, Lindy is sexiness personified in this semi-pathetic excuse for a horror film. Overflowing with saucy outfits, Miss Booth manages to be shrewish and benevolent at the same time, yielding her character with an enigmatic buoyancy.


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