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“THE WRETCHED” Beware the Horror



Review by John Delia

This scary little film The Wretched has a very evil monster that certainly does a good job of upping the freight gage. The story may be a bit familiar as there have been plenty a horror flick with the same idea, but the way the film starts and develops produces the entertainment needed for the fan base. Now at Drive-in Theaters, Digital and on VOD.

Directors and writers Brett and Drew Pierce jump right off with a very gory scene and a brief introduction to the evil that possesses a family. It may be quick, but I like the way the two filmmakers make sure the audience knows that this isn’t an ordinary drama and to be expecting a lot more of their wretched monster.

Piper Curda as “Mallory” and John-Paul Howard as “Ben” in Brett and Drew Pierce’s THE WRETCHED. Courtesy of IFC Midnight. An IFC Midnight Release.

Teenager Ben Shaw (John-Paul Howard) goes to visit and work for his father Liam (Jamison Jones) who owns a marina. It’s for the summer and at his age it’s time for him to find himself as a son and find out what it’s like to work with boats. But, it’s at a very popular lake where the rich kids hang out taking their boats out for partying and Ben doesn’t fit in very well.

There he meets Mallory (Piper Curda), a straight forward kind of girl who works with his dad on the docks. The two hit it off and Mallory makes it known right away that Ben is there to work and not to play. It’s now a much better start to the summer and Ben wants to make the most of it.

Zarah Mahler as “Abbie” and Blane Crockarell as “Dillon” in Brett and Drew Pierce’s THE WRETCHED. Courtesy of IFC Midnight. An IFC Midnight Release.

In the meantime the next door neighbors who are renting the big house for the summer seem to be a bit strange. The young boy Dillon (Blane Crockarell) seems to have issues that include hearing strange noises in the night. And his mom Abbie (Zarah Mahler) and dad Ty (Kevin Bigley) seem like they are in another world. The movie progresses from here following the introduction of all the main characters and how they fit into the storyline.

The Pierce brothers have a great sense of timing, develop the story slowly and interject bits of horror in this their first ever feature film. The acting is very good depicting their roles and making the story as believable as possible considering its only fiction. It’s the tempo, the eerie feeling from music and special sound effects that really makes the film work. And, the monster is extremely sick and nasty bringing the horror factor to a high pitch. A tip of the hat to the make-up, prosthesis, creative filming and costuming as their cunning vision is so ghoulish it takes a long time after watching the movie to come down from its terror.

John-Paul Howard as “Ben” in Brett and Drew Pierce’s THE WRETCHED. Courtesy of IFC Midnight. An IFC Midnight Release.

Perfect for fans of the horror genre, The Wretched is however not rated. It contains teen drinking, language, extreme violence, gory scenes, and brief nudity. The target mature teens and up should be able to deal with the theme and the bloody violence, but immature youngsters may end up with a nightmare or two. Now at select Drive-Inn Theaters, Digital, and VOD.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An above average horror flick with an excellent evil monster. (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Jamison Jones, Azle Tesfai, Zarah Mahler, Kevin Bigley, Gabriela Bloomgarden, Richard Ellis
Directed and written by: Brett and Drew Pierce
Genre: Horror, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, extreme violence, bloody scenes, ghoulish, language
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min
Opening Date: May 1, 2020
Distributed by: IFC Films
Released in: Select Drive-Inn Theaters, Digital, VOD


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