The Wretched (Review) – The beast below resurfaces for dinner in a lakeside town

The Wretched is available to stream and buy from 8 May 2020 on all major platforms.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Having done the rounds at several Horror Film Festivals in late 2019, the Pierce brother’s latest journey into darkness takes inspiration from a range of classic Stephen King and Dean Koontz titles. The story opens 35 years ago with a chilling discovery in a small United States coastal town before taking us to the present as 17-year-old Ben (John-Paul Howard) arrives at his father’s seaside home. Ben is still coming to terms with his mum and dad’s separation and plans to spend his summer working with his dad at the local marina. However, as the sun beats down, Ben grows concerned for the welfare of his dad’s neighbours, a young couple with a son and baby, spying on them from his balcony to understand the strange events occurring. But sometimes, it’s best not to dig, as who knows what you may find!

While The Wretched may offer us the classic summer horror mix of hormonal teens, sunshine and scares, its horror resides in the dark and hidden world beneath our feet. Here, we find elements of The Gate and Stranger Things in the story at play as The Wretched explores the classic monster hidden in plain sight territory. However, despite an attempted shock twist in its final act, it also fails to offer us anything new. But this weakness does not deflect from the entertaining slice of teen horror The Wretched provides as it ticks all the standard horror boxes while joyously ditching CGI for some excellent practical effects work. While it may not push the boundaries of the genre or achieve anything new, The Wretched is an assured modern horror that will undoubtedly find fans.

Directors: Brett PierceDrew T. Pierce

Cast: John-Paul HowardPiper CurdaJamison Jones, Azie Tesfai, Zarah Mahler

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