J.D. Lafrance
Cry_Wolf DVD Review


April 18, 2006

Director: Jeff Wadlow,
Starring: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jared Padalecki, Jesse Janzen, Paul James, Sandra McCoy, Ethan Cohn, Kristy Wu, Anna Deavere Smith, Gary Cole, Jon Bon Jovi, Erica Yates, Jane Beard, Sabrina Gilbert, Ashleigh Pixley, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

It’s stalk and slash time again as Z-list nobodies get butchered in this tired campus murder spree.

Imagine for a second that Scream never happened.  That teen horror remained stuck in the 80’s and consisted of a bunch of kids getting picked off one by one by a guy in a ski-mask with no sense of irony.  Well imagine no more because Cry Wolf is that film.  With a 12 certificate, not even the likelyhood of blood and gore can be expected as new guy Owen, a Brit on an American campus, arrives to stir things up at the same time a brutal murder claims the life of one of the female students.  Owen immediately makes friends with Dodger and plays a late-night game with her pals called Cry Wolf; guess who’s lying and you win some money.  But Dodger wants to play with the whole school and invents the presence of a serial killer…

Putting a middle-class Brit into the mix with a bunch of Americans not only grates the ears but smacks of US/UK audience fishing.  Julian Morris delivers his lines in such a monotone you keep wanting to find the remote so you can fast forward him.  Sir Gary Cole pops up as Owen’s crisp upper-class dad but with no sign of a Mike Judge or a Ben Stiller in sight he’s left swinging in the wind.  Bon Jovi plays a (naturally suspect) teacher and amazingly doesn’t do to bad a job, but really that’s not saying much.

The film relies too heavily on sound effects for jumps (since when do rocks dropped in a pool sound like shotgun blasts?) and knowing laughs when there should be scares.  Taking a picture of yourself on your mobile phone and then realising there’s someone standing behind you is a creepy idea but is thrown away here as a cheap gag that will have you rolling your eyes rather than holding your breath.

Cry Wolf does have ambition – it cost a slice of the standard teen horror and the opening scene with a girl being stalked in the woods is expertly crafted and draws you in at first, but with cutout characters and relying on the dated killer communication via instant messaging gig it’s hard to care when the villain is revealed.  If you’re in an undemanding mood and fancy some good old-fashioned stalk n’ slash on a Friday night you might enjoy it but anyone who knows their horror movies will be distinctly unimpressed.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary
  • Deleted scenes (with optional audio commentary)
  • Alternative scenes (with optional audio commentary)
  • ‘Wolves, Sheep & Shepherds: Casting The Roles’ featurette (including commentary)
  • ‘Behind The Scenes: Enter The Sinister Set’ featurette
  • ‘Tower Of Babble’ and ‘Manual Labour’ short films
  • UK trailer

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 45%



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