‘Cry Wolf’ is a 2005 horror/ murder mystery directed by Jeff Wadlow , and made, after he won $1,000,000 at the 2002 Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. The films premise is quite simple and although I wouldn’t exactly call it a horror movie, by other standards, it was still quite an enjoyable watch.
Owen Matthews (Julian Morris), a British boy, is new at private school - Westlake Preparatory Academy. That night, Owens roommate, Tom (Jared Padalecki), wakes Owen up to tell him they are sneaking out. They meet a group of students and friends consisting of Graham, Mercedes, Lewis, Randall, Regina, Tom, Dodger, and Owen play a game called Cry Wolf, where someone is marked and the group tries to figure out who the “wolf” is. While the “wolf” tries to get to the end of the game by lying and manipulation of the others. Owen is immediately taken in by the group of friends and falls for Dodger (Lindy Booth.)
The next day, they discuss the police finding a girl’s murdered body after it was dragged through the woods by a wolf. The group then talks about who could have murdered the girl. This escalates to Dodger proposing expanding the Cry Wolf game to the entire school. Owen suggests creating a fake e-mail telling everyone about a serial killer who goes from campus to campus killing students in different ways. They describe the killer as wearing an orange ski mask, a camouflage jacket, and brandishing a hunting knife. That night, they send out the e-mail. It quickly spreads around campus, and a killer soon shows up acting out the killings they described in the e-mails.
The film, as I said, was an okay watch, but the main problem with it was you could see everything coming before it did. It was obvious how the film was going to pan out as soon as you found out what the friends had planned. This would have been fine, if the film could have kept up any tension or fear. There are far too many characters involved in the film, which you either didn’t care about, or had been introduced briefly and you’d forgotten about them; this also would’ve been fine, if they hadn’t been so integral to the plot.
Julian Morris plays his role well, as does Jared Padalecki , but then we had Lindy Booth as “Dodger.” Not only did she have this ridiculous character name (apparently her parents loved Shakespeare, she explains), but the entire film ultimately rests on her performance and her presence, and unfortunately she is lacking in both departments. Jon Bon Jovi is also in the film playing a school teacher, and his acting also lets the film down. Another disappointment is the film has a sense of poor quality about it. Not to mention the script trying to be too clever for its own good, with an ending which would’ve been great, if the film itself had been more enticing to watch.
The film does have some interesting scenes, the very end scene being the best, and also a tense scene in a library involving Dodger and Owen, where the killer is stalking them.
The film is described as a slasher, although I don’t know why, as no-one gets “slashed” and we aren’t actually aren’t shown any violence, not even a drop of blood. The film’s okay for one watch, but most viewers will see the end coming a mile away. The acting is let down hugely by Lindy Booth , and now I see why she was killed off in the opening scenes of ‘Wrong Turn’ ; perhaps if a stronger actress had been in her role, the film would’ve been a lot more believable.
This is the sort of horror that would be suitable for young teenagers who are interested in the genre, but who don’t want to see anything too scary, or whose parents don’t want them viewing any violence or gratuity of any sense.
If nothing else is on, give it a go, if not – give it a miss.