M.L. Miller here! Because you and I love the horror so much, I’ve decided to post a “Worth Noting” pick along with each of my Horror Countdown choices each day through October. The same rules apply. The film must have been released before September 30th, 2019 to the masses (no festival picks). This means that is available to view in theaters, On Demand, DVD/BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films.
How did I compile this list? Horror is such a broad and varied genre that sometimes, while these choices may not represent the best—something about the film is worth taking notice. Some of these films have similar themes to their counterparts in the main countdown. Some just missed the countdown by an inch or two. Others were just squozed in because there’s nothing like them out there. Others because they have been made available for the first time. One way or another, it’s more horror to enjoy!
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Worth Noting – WRETCH!
WRETCH is a small film, but I really admired it for what it accomplished on such a tight budget. Part found footage/part fever dream, WRETCH is a unique horror experience with some solid scares and atmosphere. Released on January 29, 2019, here’s WRETCH! Available on DVD/BluRay, On Demand and digital download from ThoughtFly Films!
Directed by Brian Cunningham
Written by Brian Cunningham
Starring Megan Massie, Spencer Korcz, Riker Hill, Savannah Marie, Chris Wilson as the Wendigo!
WRETCH is a moody character piece, slow to get started, but filled with wonderful performances, creepy imagery, and an ethereal threats from all directions.
WRETCH focuses on a love triangle between a cheating boyfriend Caleb (Spencer Korcz), his best friend Riker (Riker Hill), and Caleb’s girlfriend Abby (Megan Massie). Caleb loves Abby but can’t help his urges to cheat on her. Riker loves Abby but has a love/hate relationship with Caleb who has been his friend since childhood. Abby is simply confused, suspicious of Caleb, but unwilling to accept that he is a completely bad person. The three go into the woods to camp out and do some drugs, resulting in a night of hallucinations and nightmares, where none of them clearly remember what was going on. The fact is, though, that none of them returns from the trip the same and something from deep in the woods seems to have followed them home.
The slow pace of WRETCH is going to be hard for modern moviegoers to stomach. The first fifty minutes is a character piece where we get to know the different dichotomies going on between the three leads. We are given a snippet of horror at the beginning of the film, but WRETCH quickly shuffles back a few days before for the relational stuff and the odd stuff doesn’t happen again until late in the game. But if the viewer is patient, I think they are going to find that the getting-to-know-you portion of this film makes for a much more impactful last half hour than one would expect.
Once the film gets going, though, it gets quite scary. While this isn’t a typical found footage film, it does often switch to footage taken from handheld cameras and computers that exist within the film. It basically switches to these modes of capturing the image when it suits the scary mood, which it kind of a cheat, but nevertheless makes for some tense scenes. It helps get around those annoying questions that come up in found footage horror films like “why are they still filming” and “how is the battery still powered up.” The climax gets bloody and creepy, with a monster that is something that is often difficult to capture in cinema. Delving into the myth of the wendigo, the story really does feel new and original. Obscured in the background most of the time, the monster is well crafted and filmed in a way to induce some truly terrifying sequences.
Megan Massie is the true standout in this film, offering up a spunky and brave performance as the overwhelmed object of everyone’s desire. She is definitely an actor to look out for, offering up a sympathetic and complex character. The rest of the acting is decent, enough to carry the weight of the relational themes of the film and the tenser moments. And the scares really are a plenty in the latter portion of WRETCH making the wait for the horror well worth it. Anyone who dug Larry Fessenden’s WENDIGO or THE LAST WINTER will definitely want to give this one a look-see. WRETCH is a surprisingly effective horror film that deserves an audience, but it will have to be a patient one.
WORTH NOTING SO FAR…
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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