Still grieving the death of nine-year-old Alice – their only child – at the jaws of a crazed dog, vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where they learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with Alice. The couple find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree terms with Arthur, the village’s leader, a far bigger question looms – what will they do when it’s time for Alice to go back?
User Reviews: And I am utterly delighted to say this is exactly the sort of movie I hoped Hammer would produce when it rose from the ashes. Last week, I laid into The Resident which was hopelessly feeble. This is anything but. A gory, edge-of-the-seat cracker which also has a fabulous psychological edge. From the start it grabbed me. Which is not too surprising because in the first three minutes a young couple’s daughter is torn to death by an angry Alsatian. This inspires the pair, Patrick (Aidan Gillen) and Louise (Eva Birthistle) to start a new life, deep in the Irish countryside, at a village called Wake Wood (what a great name). Louise senses there is something a little odd about the locals, who are led by a squire, played with perfect gravitas by Timothy Spall. Many other reviews have given the game away at this point. I am going to avoid doing that and just suggest supernatural jiggery pokery. Patrick and Louise get involved and the consequences are bloody but rather brilliant. I have read that Wake Wood has echoes of the Whicker Man and I sort of understand this thinking. Certainly, the villagers share a secret and are involved in behaviour which outsiders are unlikely to understand. Gillen and Birtwistle are rather splendid as the fraught interlopers. They succeed where Hilary Swank failed so hopelessly in The Resident. And then there is Spall. I’ve been enthralled by Spall, so to speak, since the days of Auf Widersehen Pet. He gets better with age. But the real hero is director David Keating who was also on the writing team. With a limited budget he has created a movie with levels of horror and suspense which would make the heroes of Hammer proud.