Haddonfield Halloween Films – Cry Wolf, Review

Cry Wolf (2005)
A bunch of bored high school kids at a posh boarding school in the US decide to cash in on a recent murder by creating a fictional serial killer and setting themselves up as his next ‘victims’. What could possibly go wrong….?
Well quite a lot actually it seems. This is a silly film that commits the unforgivable sin of thinking it’s a lot cleverer than it actually is. If you’re going to go for the whole ‘teenagers getting picked off one by one’ standard horror movie fare you have to make at least one of the fuckers likeable. We have to care whether they die or not for it to work.
Not only do the group of friends start off as pretty unlikeable with their privileged lifestyle and ‘who gives a shit’ attitudes, they then proceed to make fun of someone actually being murdered and make a game out of trying to convince the whole school there’s a serial killer on the loose ‘for laughs’. Wow, what sympathetic characters, I hope they don’t all die horribly at the hands of their own fictional serial killer or anything….
Despite the ‘twist’ at the end of the film (which I won’t discuss as some of you lucky bastards haven’t seen it yet) the plot can only be described (generously I might add) as desperately average. There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, no inventive or unexpected deaths to keep us amused, there’s not even a decent amount of gore as this film is clearly aimed at the youngish teen market. Even the ‘serial killer’ is just a bloke in an orange balaclava and a cagoule.  Sigh. Where’s a decent William Shatner mask when you need one?
The acting is pretty shocking too, given that their main challenge is to out-act Jon Bon Jovi (randomly cast as a student-shagging journalism teacher) the teenagers don’t exactly cover themselves in glory. Worst acting award has to go to token Brit, and supposed lead character, Owen (played by Julian Morris, currently of Pretty Little Liars fame). He couldn’t sound less interested in being in this movie if he tried, not that I blame him. He’s given stiff competition in the ‘phoning it in Bruce Willis style’ stakes by Lindy Booth, who shows none of the earlier promise that we saw in the Dawn of the Dead remake here. In this movie she just hangs about looking ginger and shifty, when she’s not snogging Bon Jovi that is.
So without spoiling it (?!) I can reveal that the ending (which the writer clearly thought was shit hot, judging by the reveal it gets) it just as predictable and dull as the rest of the film. If you’re at all surprised by the ‘twist’ then I hereby decree that you take yourself off, lock yourself in a cupboard and force yourself to watch decent horror films for at least 6 months, you clearly need help.
Now for those of you who are starting to think that I don’t like anything, my next review for Halloween month will be Ginger Snaps. Which I LOVE!

Zoe (temporary ed)

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