The Wretched is a supernatural horror film directed by the Pierce Brothers and while it covers some familiar territory, it’s an entertaining little bit of low-budget fun.
Ben (John-Paul Howard) is a teenager with a history of drug abuse from a broken home who’s been sent to spend summer with his father (Jamison Jones). His neighbours start behaving strangely and he begins to suspect something uncanny is happening. When his suspicions are confirmed, his past ensures that no-one takes him seriously.
This is a decent film that, unusually for budget horror, is not an obnoxious collection of jump scares. The characters are likeable and well-drawn, and the tension comes from plot developments instead of sound effects. It would venture into spoiler territory, but there’s a bit more happening here than mere monster attacks. It does feel at times that shortcuts were taken, with Ben learning everything he needs to know using the internet. There’s also a plot-twist that happens near the end that is both a good shock and also annoyingly under-explored. For a small movie, it also looks and sounds great with some wonderful practical creature and gore effects.
If you enjoy old-fashioned horror films, this is a nice, creepy way to spend an evening. It’s got some plot-holes and feels poorly thought out from time to time, but it’s worth a look.
Screening now until 18 July in Foxtel Store
Available to rent On Demand from 2 September via Google Play, Fetch TV, Microsoft & Apple TV