The first theatrical horror release of 2006 had been held back from it's proposed October release date by a period of four months in favour of a Friday the 13th of January UK release and this, coupled with it's 12A certificate may mean it rakes in some big bucks, but then again it may not.
The film opens with an obligatory yet to the point murder, before we are treated to some absolutely gorgeous location photography. It is here that we meet Owen (whose Brit accent was really off putting for the majority of the film) and Dodger (the ever gorgeous Lindy Booth).
Owen, a constant troublemaker is new to West Lake Prep after expulsion from several different schools across the world. He soon finds himself invited to join the school's liars club which, as he puts it (to paraphrase) consists of 'bored rich kids with nothing better to do with their time'. The kids play a lying game where someone is elected The Wolf and everyone else are sheep. The object of the game is to 'avoid suspicion, lie to your friends and eliminate your enemies'.
After Owen riles some of the kids, Dodger decides to up the ante and sets about playing the game with the whole school. Dodger and Owen, with the help of their friends create a killer called The Wolf and send out a mass e-mail alerting their fellow students to the fact that a killer is on campus, repeating a blood bath he originally committed twice before, listing who was killed and how, such as the slut who was killed in the shower etc etc.
All kinds of hi-jinks ensue as it appears that someone is turning the lies into truths.
Made as a result of the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival, Cry_Wolf isn't a bad film to take centre stage in the genre dumping ground of January. It looks absolutely stunning, has a good cast of familiar faces, an incredible score and even has the odd moment of suspense and a jump or two to boot.
Where it goes wrong however is in its inability to please its target audience. The entire time I was annoyed that we weren't actually seeing murders take place, due to it's insistence to use flashbacks to what the kids had imagined might be scary ways to die. This makes sense once the film has revealed its game plan but by that point I had become frustrated at its inability to pull off any conventions of the genre effectively. Most notably, the stalk and slash sequences which are frequently interrupted and are therefore rendered anti-climatic.
It does have some genuinely funny intentional humour within its script, as well as a wonderful performance from Lindy Booth and it certainly managed to trick me, as it was proved that the most obvious answer ran deeper than anyone could imagine.
Cry_Wolf is essentially a student film on a grand scale. It is also an aesthetically accomplished and for the most part well thought out film. It's just a shame that it never managed to fully capatilise on its horror elements.
Region 2 DVD Extras
Wolves, Sheep & Shepherds: Casting The Roles
Short Films: Tower of Babble & Manual Labour
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