Monday, August 29, 2011

Cry me a River: CRY_WOLF (2005)

CRY_WOLF (2005)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth and Jared Padalecki

PG-13 horror always makes me cringe. The tamed gore, the lame plot, the tired teen smarts taking the good name of horror overdone, it’s a crime that these PG-13 films gets all the attention when R-rated horror gets butchered for a faint-hearted public. So when I finally decided to watch CRY_WOLF (just for the review), I was surprised how well done it was despite the lack of proper scares and extreme violence, playing out as a thriller involving a lie gone wrong.

Cocky Bastard making friends already
Owen Mathews is the new kid in Westlake Preparatory Academy, coming all the way from Britain. He finds himself invited by a group of high school stereotypes to play a game of Cry Wolf, where he had to guess which one of them is the wolf through means of wit. Owen plays his cards right and he win game, (quickly) earning the respect of his  new found friends.

So young, so nice, so...fake
All the while, a murder of a local girl spreads around the campus, giving the rat pack an idea to hype-up their game and try to flesh out a chain mail containing the killer’s motives and what he looks like.

The mail spreads easily via instant messaging, with nearly every student and staff believing it, but it seems like someone wearing the same orange ski mask and camouflage suit described in their mail started stalking Owen, taking every chance to kill him. Is someone trying to kill Owen for vengeance or is Owen being eaten alive by his own guilt?

ugh, why do people never listens.
With an ending somewhat reminiscent of a beloved classic “April Fools Day (1986)”, I understand why so many people were pissed off by CRY_WOLF but, if you think about it, it made a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the film’s poor marketing lead to the public expecting an ultra-violent slasher film with its trailer, where in reality the movie is a stylized, out-of-the-blue, thriller with an unexpected, if not unoriginal twist.

Admittedly, the experimental approach worked for me as it concentrated on the psychological aspects of stalking and paranoia our lead is put into, keeping everything far from predictable by giving their own distinctive style of suspense and builds up to a shocking finale. It was a good movie but it’s nowhere as acceptable as any “real” slashers out there as its whodunit approx could used a little more work.

To keep it short, its not for everyone, the slasher perspective lacks power but its interesting enough to keep you watching.

1 female shot on the face (offscreen)
1 female stabbed to death with hunting knife
1 male found stabbed to death with hunting knife
1 male seen being stabbed to death with hunting knife
1 female found stabbed to death with hunting knife
1 male shot on the heart
1 male shot
total: 7
(note: only two of these murders are for real)
I blame you, Instant Messaging!

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