2005
Rated: PG-13 for violence, and adult language.
Genre: Suspense Mystery Thriller Drama
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow
Running Time: 1:30
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 1/11/06
DVD Features:
# Commentary by: Director / Co-Writer Jeff Wadlow, Producer / Co-Writer Beau Bauman and Editor / Associate Producer Seth GordonDolby Digital 2.0
# Deleted / Extended Scenes
# Alternate Scene
# Wolves, Sheep and Shepherds: Casting the Roles
# Winning the Game: Inside the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival
# Before They Cried Wolf: The Filmmakers' Short Films
# Feature Commentary with Director / Co-Writer Jeff Wadlow, Producer / Co-Writer Beau Bauman and Editor / Associate Producer Seth Gordon
CRY_WOLF

 

Be it blonde, brunette, or redhead, I think its almost impossible for Lindy Booth to not be sexy. The girl was perfectly cast, and she actually looks like a high school student along with everyone else. She's sexy, and she's the perfect femme fatale who makes the film worth watching. If there's any reason to watch this that I can think of, it's Booth. What's not to like? Though, she was obnoxious in the "Dawn" remake, she redeems herself with a very sexy character. Meanwhile "Cry_Wolf" isn't as bad as I'd originally read with its reviews. On rare occasions it can be fun, and the chase sequences involving the slasher are tense and exciting. In reality, I expected much worse, and I attribute my incredibly low expectations to enjoying it every so often.

The ultimate crime "Cry_Wolf" commits, is that it's too safe. I'm not one of the horror purists who feels every horror films has to have blood and guts and be rated R, I just think a horror movie has to actually have some scares to it. I'm a horror purist, sure, but I'm also open-minded to horror and its constantly evolving form. But if PG-13 is the next evolution for horror, then it's safe to say the genre is dead. However, I really don't think this is horror's new evolution, but it is being forced by Hollywood to evolve in that state. But I digress. The crime "Cry_Wolf" commits is that its safe, it's completely void of scares, any risks, and it's completely dry if you catch my drift. It attempts to be taken as a slasher film but it's not a slasher whatsoever, it's a gigantic tease.

It starts off as a mystery, then forms in to a slasher, and then a mystery yet again. With great writing, and very good directing, the constantly shifting themes could have served for a
brilliant and utterly engrossing horror entry, but with hackneyed writing and utterly broad characterization, "Cry_Wolf" goes limp. Like having a vasectomy and contemplating sex, it seems fun, but in the end it does nothing but fire off blanks. It wants to be the murder mystery of the computer age, but it comes off more like a lame-brained "Scream" and that's not saying much, I can tell you that. "Cry_Wolf" begins with a posh high school and a group of kids whom love to play games about lies, and the leader, a young vixen named Dodger, and the new student named Owen invent a serial killer to continue their game. But when the people involved in the game end up with a slight case of death, they think someone is taking the lie all the way.

Normally, such a concept with the theme of "The Boy who Cried Wolf" would be fun, but
"Cry_Wolf" is insanely dull. When I mean dull, I mean the film bored me to tears, and my attention span is usually pretty good. It really attempts to form characterization, exposition, and entertainment but basically fails on both ends with characters whom are one dimensional, interchangeable, and performances that range from wooden (Jon Bon Jovi) to boring (Julian Morris) and did I mention the ubiquitous Gary Cole has a criminally small role? I've yet to see a film that can successfully mount tension by having its characters typing on a computer, and this film is no exception. Most of the supposed tension relies on watching these people type over AOL and posting exchanges back and forth while we gasp and say "Did you see what that person typed?!" Yes, I'm yawning just remembering.

"Cry_Wolf" fails to build anything resembling tension or suspense, and nothing happens at all at least until the hour mark, and for a ninety minute film, that's pretty damn pathetic. And as per usual "Scream" style, the red herrings fly fast, and they fly furious, and they can be pretty damn ridiculous. The writers never fool us, they just jerk us around, and I don't like to be jerked (use that line to your own amusement). A mystery is supposed to pull the rug out from under us, and "Cry_Wolf" fails to do so because its mystery isn't compelling, and its characters aren't involving. As overrated as "Scream" is, it did have a very engrossing  mystery with a shocker of an ending, and "Cry_Wolf" aspires to do so and fails. The climax basically reveals two "surprise" plot twists, both of which are extremely insulting, because I felt like I just wasted my time for nothing.

While it's not as awful as I'd read about, with occasionally fun moments, and the utterly sexy Lindy Booth really making this worth watching; "Cry_Wolf" wants to be taken seriously, but the problem is it's a bland imitator, with a lame mystery(that's anything but), a really boring plot, and an ending that's utterly insulting. In the history of horror movies, this is yet another lightweight. Like the story it emulates, it calls itself a slasher, but it's all just one false alarm.

  • Was supposed to be an R rated film, but was trimmed down to a PG-13.

 

 

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