[ Image Courtesy of IFC Midnight ]

Film Review: The Wretched

16:08 June 08, 2020
By: David Vicari
The social distancing brought on by Covid-19 has actually revived the drive-in movie circuit, and the low-budget independent horror film, The Wretched, has become a drive-in hit.

Going to a drive-in is pretty cool, and I really wish there were a different and happier reason for its revival.

The Wretched starts off with troubled teen Ben (John-Paul Howard) being sent to live with his father (Jamison Jones). As fate would have it, Ben quickly realizes that a thousand-year-old child-eating witch is living in the body of the woman next door.

There is a modicum of suspense way into the third act, but before that, we have to mostly sit through Ben being misunderstood by everyone and not being believed that the neighbor is a witch. We are also treated to Ben's boring sort-of romance with Mallory (Piper Curda), a girl who works at his father's marina. These teen characters talk in that cutesy, exaggerated teen-TV-series speak that no one on Earth actually talks like.

Directors/writers Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce have a good core idea with The Wretched, but they fumble with both plot and character. The audience isn't going to care when your main character is so incredibly dull. I wanted the witch to swallow this guy's vanilla soul. Then there is the clunky plot in which the rules surrounding the witch's powers and motivations aren't very clear. It's all just confusing and forgettable.

If you still want to see The Wretched, and you can't find a drive-in, it is streaming on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Google Play.

** Stars (Out of Four)

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