Wake Wood

Film Review by Scotty McKellar | 24 Mar 2011
  • wake wood
Film title: Wake Wood
Director: David Keating
Starring: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall
Release date: 28 Mar 2011
Certificate: 18

It's fitting that the revitalised Hammer Films should return to what they do best: a creepy supernatural tale about a middle class couple who get more than they bargained for. In this case a secret village ritual allows grieving parents a chance to spend another three days with their daughter, but violating the compact between the world of the living and the dead has dangerous consequences.

Right from the start there's a cheeky sense of Hammer coming into the 21st century. In days gone by, we're told by a wonderful Timothy Spall as the village leader, mystics would have crushed bones with a sledgehammer but these days they sensibly use a forklift truck.

The traditions and customs of the town are fascinating. As is the resurrection ritual itself, a delicious mix of farmyard paganism and literal (re)birth. Less successful are the two (terrible) leads and an underdeveloped threat. But long afterwards the images remain. A spine-chillingly good return for Hammer. [Scotty McKellar]