Somewhere beneath all the studio meddling, reshoots, bad effects choices and structural misfires is the SEED of a truly excellent idea. Craven’s approach to werewolf material in the 2000s, hot off the perfection of the first 3 Screams, is right on the money. Sadly you can just feel every last inch of this movie getting in its own way. By the end even some really amusing set pieces and genuinely smart character twists can’t pull it out of the dumpster.
At last - a weird gross legitimately unnerving movie for the youths. As long as you come to this knowing it’s a YA film, and suffers many of the classic pitfalls of the genre, it’s a really terrific little thing!
The set dressings and many of the design ideas are imaginative and well executed and there are even some fun filmmaking stylistic decisions. The kid characters make sense and are well motivated, which is much more than you often get…
A staggering aberration built on raw hubris and ineptitude. Somehow both tonally inconsistent and consistently monotone. A loosely affiliated string of Mortal Kombat cutscenes, product placement commercials and sequences of humans struggling to have social interactions. A disgusting bottomless pit of self indulgent filmmaking, nonsensical scriptwriting and wooden performances. A Sisyphean slog through a never ending swamp of mediocrity and hollow moments. A reckless violation of anything that ever made the source material good. A fools errand the likes of which I hope to never again see in my lifetime.
I hope those who asked for it got what they wanted.
Leave it to James Wan to pump out the most ferociously camp Studio horror film in decades. The sheer audacity of this project is frankly jaw dropping. I laughed, I gasped, I shut my eyes tighter than tighter. What else is there in life.
On a side bar - I’m not sure if the complete failure of the marketing for this movie to capture what is REALLY going on here is an incredibly shrewd decision, or an indictment of movie marketing as an industry.