Runtime: 95 mins
Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby
Synopsis: A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parents’ imminent divorce, faces off with a thousand year-old witch, who is living beneath the skin of and posing as the woman next door.
Grimmfest say: The Pierce Brothers’ previous feature, the dudebro zombie stoner comedy DEADHEADS, was a big hit at Grimmfest a few years back. This is something rather different – an old school coming-of-age horror, set in the present day, but with a mid-80s prologue which very much sets the tone of the whole. The careful pace, the character detail, the ways in which the horror at the film’s heart seems to reflect the protagonist’s own fears and desires, all seem to belong to an earlier era. Imagine what Stephen King might have done with the set up of William Friedkin’s oddball cult classic THE GUARDIAN, and you might have some idea of what to expect. But don’t come along simply expecting to wallow in comforting horror nostalgia – the film has some sharp teeth of its own.
What I'm Expecting: The Wretched looks to be all kinds of Stephen King: from the 80s feel to the coming-of-age story hidden behind a veil of horror. It’s tempting to presume The Wretched will attempt to replicate the recent success of Andy Muschietti’s It. And while I love that film and would like to see someone else take on a similar story, the Pierce brothers need to make enough distance so that their film can stand on its own two feet. Personally, I’d just like an actually scary horror film. Not only full of jump scares, but something genuinely scary; unnerving and uncomfortable. We’ll have to wait until the 5th of October to find out, which seems like an agonisingly long time. But I have a good feeling about this one.