Wake Wood sees grief-stricken parents Patrick (Aiden Gillen) and Louise (Eva Birthistle) are struggling to keep their marriage together, after their daughter is killed. Patrick’s boss Arthur, the ever excellent Timothy Spall, conducts a strange (and pretty gross) ritual that will bring little Alice back for three days. This being a horror film, such an activity was never going to go according to plan, but I won’t spoil it by going into detail.
This film starts well, with an interesting premise and some strong actors in the lead and supporting roles. It really is rather good. The ritual itself is a particular high point, but once Alice returns, the film loses its way. The violent scenes, rather than being scary, are actually quite comical. It’s almost as if Wake Wood was directed by two different people with two different agendas; it feels disjointed and the difference in tone between the acts of violence, and the rest of the film is really jarring.
That said, there’s still plenty here to like, and it’s a hell of a lot better than most of the crap that film makers churn out in the name of horror.