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Wake Wood

Directed by David Keating (eOne)


Under the revivified banner of Hammer Film Productions, the veteran UK horror company, this shot-in-Ireland creepfest has a seriously effective hook: a little girl is killed by a dog, leaving her parents heartbroken. They move to the quiet village of Wake Wood, where they discover weird goings-on in a Wicker Man vein, the possibility their daughter could be brought to life for three days through a communal ritual whose mechanics are fascinatingly grisly. Of course, there’s a heavy toll to be paid in bringing her back or not sticking to the rules. Despite the solid set-up and genuinely creepy rural atmos, the internal logic is fractured, the parents' character motivations not terribly clear and so many unanswered questions (Why only three days? Why must the corpses be less than a year dead? How did Timothy Spall's character learn all bad magic he does?) the horror is scuppered by disappointing and unintentional self-parody.

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