MOVIE REVIEW: CRYING WOLF / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: TONY JOPIA / SCREENPLAY: ANDY DAVIE, MICHAEL DALE, TONY JOPIA / STARRING: KRISTOFER DAYNE, CHLOE FARNWORTH, GARY MARTIN, ROSIE PEARSON, IAN DONNELLY / RELEASE DATE: TBC
Sometimes it’s hard not to admire anyone who attempts to make a film with little or no budget. This is why it’s so disheartening to have to pull apart a film like Crying Wolf. That said, there will be an audience out there who will find this amusing and even entertaining. Unfortunately, that group of people would also be the kind who pays good money to see some Irish drag act doing a not-so-updated version of Old Mother Riley. If only things could have progressed with the style and panache of the credit sequence which is pure Bond, right down to the naked silhouettes, it may have been a little more diverting.
A Private Investigator (Martin) is looking into a series of disappearances in a small village, and upon finding an old book (in a store run by the wonderful Caroline Munro) he reads about a group of haphazard werewolves and the intrepid slayers who hunt them down. Now that in itself could be a cool premise and make for a somewhat entertaining film. What we get instead is a mix of obnoxious yokels, slapstick elders, overly alpha types and dim-witted dolly birds making up the wolf gang, all going on a camping trip to the Cotswolds with the idea of snacking down on some locals.
Crying Wolf tries very hard to be funny. We know this, because at almost every quip there’s a slide-whistle sound not heard since the last time Dick Emery was around. Sadly, the gags often fall very short of the titters; this is a shame because with a sharper script and a more experienced cast it may have at least been smirk-worthy. Mind you on the plus side, at least it didn’t feature James Corden.
When the ‘action’ gets going, and things get hairy, then it’s let down by some appalling CGI and seemingly store-bought werewolf masks. Sure, one could get a kitsch kick out of this, and the big fight scene at the climax is well staged and actually entertaining, but for every neat stroke, there’s a computer-enhanced blood spurt which ruins the effect. Kudos for having a go, though! When practical effects are used, despite being of the bargain basement variety, are much more effective and entertaining.
In the end, it’s a little like Carry On Howling, only without the classic cast of lovable actors and a proper sense of comic timing. Although, as we stated at the start, there’s an audience for this within those who prefer simple, accessible ‘comedy’, but it’ll largely turn off your average horror fan, unfortunately.
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10