What starts as an interesting twist on the werewolf genre with interesting characters soon devolves into a terribly executed film that pisses away any promise from the first quarter of the movie. What we’re left with is a story full of indecipherable dialogue, questionable acting, a predictable plot, and a horrible looking werewolf.
Teen Kelly Ann (Samantha Shields) is forced to give up her baby for adoption. This wasn’t an easy decision and she’s left emotionally scarred from the entire experience. I thought this was an interesting way to begin the movie. I appreciated that writer-director Craig Strachan wasn’t afraid to start off his horror movie with a deep characterization of the film’s star. Skip, then, to six weeks later; Kelly Ann and four of her friends are getting set for an overnight hike in the Scottish Highlands. On their first night they come across an old castle (which, in fact, is a real castle in Mugdock Country Park near Glasgow where the majority of this film was shot), and in the abandoned castle is a naked infant wailing away. The group of course takes the baby and are subsequently chased down and attacked by a pissed off werewolf. Pretty good set up; but like so many movies I review here the execution is horrendous.
First and foremost you can hardly understand a friggin’ word the teens are saying. This may not be a PC critique but fuck me; the Scottish dialect of the cast is so thick that I only understood half the movie (if I’m lucky). If you’re planning on making a film to be distributed internationally, you better be damned sure the cast can be understood. Second, this flick gets my vote for THE WORST werewolf I have ever seen. Lon Chaney’s werewolf was way more believable and cutting edge!! We only get to see the front half of the creature so you just know someone has his hand up the werewolf’s asshole moving it around. It seriously looks like something left behind on the set of the 1980’s TV show ALF. If they didn’t have the budget to make a kick ass looking werewolf then Strachan should have gotten creative with camera angles and just shown us flashes of the werewolf. You know; a quick shot of face here, a flash of a clawed paw there. But why, tell me, WHY would they show this horrible werewolf in the broad daylight?? It makes no sense. It’s like I say time and time again: If you’re making a creature flick you HAVE to have a great looking creature — if you can’t produce a scary monster in a monster movie then you’ve failed. It’s basic people!!
As it is, there was nothing scary about the werewolf here and I’m kinda thinking it was based on budget, not talent. The man who made the creature here, Bob Keen, is no stranger to making monsters. Keen has worked on such f/x-heavy films as Alien, Hellraiser 1-3, Hardware, Waxwork 2, Candyman, Event Horizon, and most perplexing, Dog Soldiers (which is a werewolf movie)!! That’s a pretty impressive resume that again tells me his hands were tied by budgetary restrictions.
The teens did an ok job acting (that is when I could understand them), but there was some overacting. And at the end of the day all they really had to do was pretend to be scared at a phony looking muppet, look over their shoulders, and run away. The third main problem I had here was with the ending; it really sucks out loud. I’m not sure if the whole [SPOILER ALERT] “baby is actually a baby werewolf” thing was suppose to be a twist ending, but if you couldn’t figure that out then you probably have trouble following the plots of The Hills!! Strachan also completely abandoned/forgot about the subplot he took so much time to establish in the beginning of the film (Kelly Ann’s giving up her baby for adoption). It should’ve been a huge plot point that Kelly Ann was willing to risk her life for this baby because she gave up her baby 6 weeks ago. You know; a kind of redemption for her. But Strachan never address this nor wraps the story back around to this point.
Add to all these problems some pacing problems and you get a really disappointing flick that pisses away a great opportunity to be a refreshing look at the werewolf genre. This is a completely forgettable flick that falls apart in its execution. Skip this one.
Director: Craig Strachan (and writer)
Plot: 2 out of 5 stars
Gore: 3.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Lai Aat - Scott Shoyer
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