Monday, July 22, 2019

Fantasia '19: The Wretched Gets Under the Skin: A Film Review

Directors/writers: Brett Pierce, Drew T. Pierce.

Cast: John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Jamison Jones, Azie Tesfai and Zarah Mahler.

The Wretched is the latest horror film from the Pierce Bros. (Deadheads, 2011). Recently completed, the film had its World Premiere in Montreal. At Fantasia, the cast and crew were in attendance to give a behind-the-scenes point-of-view on the film's production and story. Based on the Boo Hag, a witch has come to town and protagonist Ben (John-Paul Howard) has some strange, new neighbours. Meanwhile, there is lots of action on-screen to keep the film moving along at a quick clip. Not to be missed, The Wretched provides lots of chills and a great story to entertain film fans.

The film begins with Ben. Ben is not happy with his parent's recent divorce. But, he is even less happy when his new neighbours begin to act strangely. One mother, Abbie (Zarah Mahler), is inhabited by a creature, while her children become food for the beast. A small town is quickly taken over by monsters that hide under-the-skin. Ben struggles to survive in all of this chaos.

The Pierce Bros. mentioned Black Annie and the Boo Hag as two of their mythological influences. These witches of yore lived in a tree or hid under the flesh of unsuspecting wayfarers. Very much inspired by Pagan mythology, The Wretched will keep you guessing as to what happens next. After all, Pagan mythology often requires blood sacrifice; but who will be offered first?

In the meantime, the film serves up lots of action. Ben must struggle with witchy neighbours and creatures hiding in the dark. During the climax, Ben is dealing with a possessed police officer and hellions underground. The film does not lack of a quick tempo.

The Wretched was just recently completed. So, distribution might be a ways off as the film moves along the film festival circuit. So, horror fans should look for the film locally as The Wretched brings a new take to an old myth. Fans will appreciate what the Pierce Bros. have cooked up with this horror outing.

Overall: 8 out of 10.

*the working title of this film was The Hag.

The Wretched at Fantasia, with more story details: The Wretched at Fantasia

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