Review Date: December 22, 2005
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Wadlow, Beau Bauman
Producers: Beau Bauman
Julian Morris as Owen
Lindy Booth as Dodger
Jon Bon Jovi as Rich
A bunch of rich, spoiled, bored, overpriveleged kids get together to play a “lying game” at school and decide to take advantage of the buzz over a real student getting killed nearby, to make up a serial killer to spook the rest of the students. My main goal in high school was “getting laid”, but hey…to each his own! Once their cold-blooded lie is out there, actual murders start to occur on campus and the kids themselves, begin to wonder what the shit they might have started. A whole lot of wolf crying ensues…
I’m a fan of your typical “high schoolers getting slashed up by an anonymous killer” movies, but would it kill these folks (pun intended!) to put together a few likeable characters, a believable conclusion and some T&A for the kids? Going through the same motions as most others before it, CRY_WOLF does come up with a somewhat original twist on the basic premise of a crazy killer (this person communicates via Instant Messaging) and does toss a load of red herrings into the mix (students are playing a “lying game” at the same time, so you never know what’s real and what’s not), but at the end of the day, I honestly didn’t give two shits about any of the standard chumps leading this film, particularly not the “smart kid” with the British accent, who just pissed me off—mostly because of the British accent, I think. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Brits as much as the next guy, but there always seems to be that “one guy” in all horror movies, and this guy was “that guy”! The girls were also so-so for the most part, but if you’re going to create a heterosexual slasher flick, gimme some friggin’ sugar, man! This PG-13 shit has got to go! And finally, my biggest problem with the movie is what generally separates the good horror flicks from the bad and that is its believability and conclusion, which turns out to be one of those that simply does not compute when you think back about it (also, in terms of believability…how come everybody but these punk-ass kids disappears from campus about halfway through the movie??).
Too many things just had to happen exactly the way the killer would have planned it, for the whole scheme to have come together as it did, and for me, there were just too many lucky turns to buy as a believable resolution. That said, the film did keep me guessing for most of its way, for which it definitely deserves some points. It was also splendidly shot, with some very cool stylish moments and a great-looking prep school campus. None of the actors “stood out” in my eyes, but the killer was pretty kool, with the creepy ski mask and the Rambo-esque knife keeping me entertained, for the most part. I know I spent most of my review dissing the film, but the truth is that if you’re looking for a serviceable slasher flick with decent twists and turns, you could definitely do much worse than this film. It tends to overplay its “lying” card though, to the point that you, as an audience member, might start feeling like a schmuck for constantly falling for someone always “crying wolf”. For me, I prefer my slashers with a little more blood, a few more cool kills, a lot more T&A and a believable ending that won’t make me sigh and wonder what “could have been”. Also, its premise was a little too much like GOSSIP (a better movie) and it barely ran for 85 minutes.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian