A review of THE WRETCHED a horror/thriller from IFC Films now available on digital and home entertainment.
Following his parents’ separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina in order to gain some form of discipline. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his father’s new girlfriend. Ben’s problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door.
A malevolent spirit from the woods has taken ahold of the parents and starts playing a sinister game of house, preying upon the children and wiping away any trace of their existence. Ben’s suspicions of the supernatural horrors go unheeded and he launches a perilous crusade in order to put an end to the skin-walking witch’s reign of terror. Chilling and suspenseful, THE WRETCHED offers a modern update to the retro young hero’s mission like that of The Goonies, and promises to make viewers wary of every dark corner they encounter after witnessing its terrifying tale.
THE WRETCHED is our dark little fairy tale for a modern age. Inspired by our love for Roald Dahl’s The Witches and the experience of living through our parents’ divorce, the film was a long time coming for us. Nothing can be more terrifying to children than when their parents separate. The alienation you sense in your own family comes with a realization that your parents have a duality of good and bad qualities you never knew existed before. It’s this feeling that we wanted to inject into every aspect of the story and the creature herself. How well do you really know the people you love and can you even trust them?
For our creature, we wanted to develop our own unique mythology with its own set of rules, but we also wanted to draw from all the amazing stable of folklore witches we’d never seen depicted on the big screen. We cobbled together our favorite aspects of Black Annis, an English Legend, and the Boo Hag of the Appalachian Mountains infused it with their own creepy Concepts. We wanted the creature to feel like the perfect predator for the modern self-absorbed families of today. In a culture where all our heads are down immersed in our cell phones, would you even notice if your family member was inhabited by a manipulative ancient witch? We’re not too sure.
Tonally, we knew we were dealing with darker subject matter but we wanted to instill the story with a sense of fun that we’ve been missing amid the modern horror of late. We love a good roller coaster ride and we wanted the movie to feel like that too; fun, dark, tense and dreadful.
THE WRETCHED is a reflection of our own personal fears over trusting those closest to our hearts as well as a love letter to the genre film that scared the hell out of us as kids. It’s a story born from both our love a folkloric legend and a fear of the eerie woods we camped in every summer as children. The Wretch has been crawling around in our imaginations all those years just waiting to eat a family or two and we can’t wait to share our dark corner of the woods with audiences.