The Wretched – Movie Review

published on July 2, 2020

the wretched was directed by the Pierce

brothers and tells the story of a

defiant teenage boy who's living for a

while with his father because his

parents are splitting up but over the

course of the movie he begins to notice

some very strange things about the house

next door and he eventually comes to

believe that a witch is manipulating and

killing people in this small town this

film was gonna be out on VOD pretty soon

I had this chance to see a screener of

it from IFC midnight and I thank them

for sending it I was looking forward to

this movie because I heard some good

things about it out of various festivals

and it looked like an old-school horror

movie and in many ways it is there's a

lot of great practical effects the witch

creature in particular is the selling

point here the makeup is great there's

some really great gore and some

old-school effects and the movie also

has a tone that I've asked a lot of

films to have for a long time and that

is an adult version of goosebumps this

is a very gory and violent movie it

would definitely be rated R if it was

rated but it's from the perspective of a

teenager and I've wanted more movies

like that it's strange though because

from a studio perspective it's hard to

make a movie that has characters that

are teenagers that talk like teenagers

that do things teenagers do but

teenagers can't actually go and see your

movie that's a bit of an issue and

that's probably why a lot of these

movies don't get made but with the

wretched I found myself also slightly

annoyed with some of those choices even

though it's kind of something I've

wanted to see for a while and I

appreciate when a movie that stars

younger characters can also have more

adult themes it didn't always mesh that

well in this film and most of that is

because the lead character in the film

is a complete bore he has a cast so he's

broken his arm at some point you know

something went wrong and his parents are

going through a divorce that's about the

extent of his characterization there's a

young girl in town that he's getting to

know but he shows virtually no interest

in her even when she's trying to be nice

to him there's many scenes where she

does things for him helping him out and

he doesn't even respond and she even

says like you're welcome and he just

stands there without responding and I

found myself really not liking this

character and unfortunately he's who we

experienced most of this movie through

you can tell that the filmmakers cared

quite a

with so much for a small budget film

they've given a lot of care to the look

of this movie the look of the creature

the scare scenes the suspense it's all

set up very well much better than a lot

of indie Horrors I've seen and I think

these are really talented directors

they're much better directors I think

than they are writers because many

things about the rules of this which

seem very unclear to me having seen the

movie she has a lot of abilities and

there's a lot of backstory and there's

many things she can do and sometimes she

seems a little bit ultra powerful she

can whisper into people's ears and

influence them to do whatever she wants

and apparently this control lasts for a

really long time that's not exactly

clear either she can get underneath

people's skin literally you know there's

there's a lot of things that she's doing

also I'm not going to ruin for you that

deeply evolved twists that happen in the

movie so even though this which was

really cool and the makeup effects were

awesome she just kind of felt like a

scare factory it didn't really feel like

there was much personality there and I

didn't really understand what her

motivation was there's also a scene

where the lead character sits down at

his computer and does a web search based

off of a photo he took of a symbol he

saw carved in a porch and this leads him

down a path that answers basically all

of his questions and I found it strange

that there was so much information about

this movie's witch out there online like

this which was very known in the real

world and people know about its

motivations and what it can do and the

consequences but again without spoiling

anything there's an element to what the

witch does to people in this movie that

makes it hard to understand how stories

could ever be told about this thing a

hood stories

she's been preying on ships in

settlements for near 10 years never

leaves any survivors no survivors

and where do the stories come from I

wonder it's very much like that scene in

Pirates of the Caribbean and I know

there's ways to explain it away but

again it just felt very unclear from a

horror perspective though I think this

movie is better than most indie horrors

and you can definitely watch it and feel

some suspense based off of the the

scenes that are meant to scare you and

the jump scares aren't too cheap either

they're very well set up I just couldn't

get behind the characters that was

unfortunate because there's so many

young people in this movie that don't

feel like they fit in with the very

adult movie that's also being made

there's also a group of bullies that

pick on this kid constantly and they

never really come back into the movie

they felt just sort of like a device to

keep our character from discovering one

specific thing later on in the film but

they never really come back into the

movie they just keep picking on him and

calling him names all the time but

there's never that moment with Flash

Thompson where he gets pudding in his

face they just disappear so I respect

this movie and I respect the filmmakers

because they're clearly extremely

talented but they gave a lot of care to

the way the film looks and the way the

film's sounds the score is also a lot of

fun they just didn't give that same care

to their characters the film is also

heavily inspired by disturbia or


there's a big sequence where our

character is spying on this neighbor and

the girls coming over and he's trying to

convince people that something is going

on if you just go down the cellar you'll

find it there's a lot that I like about

this movie but there's a lot about it

that disappointed me because I think

more so than other indie horrors when I

see filmmakers who clearly have it but

there's this huge blind spot to what

could have made this movie so much

better it frustrates me I'm gonna give

the wretched a C+ there's a lot for

horror fans to like in this movie

especially aesthetically it's a great

looking movie for especially the budget

it's just that I think they should have

gone through a few more drafts or

perhaps considered the notion of making

the lead character not a whiny repressed

teenager I'm not entirely sure that was

the best way for us to experience this

story thank you guys so much as always


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