The Wretched review – grisly holiday horror | Horror films

In a parallel universe, this lean, surprisingly grisly horror from brothers Brett and Drew Pierce (Deadheads) might have been a teen movie. Set during the summer holidays in an east coast seaside town, there’s a poolside humiliation, an almost-kiss at a drunken house party, and a wholesome flirtation revolving around strawberry-flavoured Starbursts. It’s even more of a jolt, then, when an evil witch assumes the body of a local woman (Zarah Mahler) and begins stealthily terrorising 17-year-old Ben’s (John-Paul Howard) sleepy neighbourhood. She makes flowers wilt, seduces fathers and abducts and eats their children, all the while modelling an impressive collection of dramatic, floor-length dresses.

Ben turns to a website called “Witchopedia” to figure out how best to vanquish her. The film isn’t the smartest or most sophisticated example of the genre, but it’s not trying to be. There’s something appealing about its modest ambitions, with its cast of unknowns, relative low stakes and retro jump scares.

Source: The Guardian

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