Wake Wood Review

Movie: Wake Wood
By: Chev Chellios
Date: November 29, 2012

Rotten Wood cannot be carved, they say...

Wake wood a movie with certain style, a style we haven't seen for a long time, I call it Hammer Style. Hammer Studios was founded in 1934 so it has a lot of history, from creations like Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy the put the studio on the movie map. From 1955 till the end of 1977 they focussed mainly on the making of horror creature movies and the enormous amount of sequels afterwards. Fast forward to 2007, where the revival of Hammer Studios started till today, with movies like Let me in, The Resident and Woman in Black the returned to familiar grounds and you can say, Horror still works. And so here comes this little gem, a movie called Wake Wood, and yes a fine addition to the horror genre.

The Beginning

Wake Wood shot in 2011 by the Irish David Keating. With a pretty decent cast, Timothy Spall, Eva Birthistle, Dan Gordon and Aiden Gillen which we know from playing bad guy roles in the Statham action vehicle Blitz and John Cena's 12 Rounds. Shot on location County Donegal in Ireland, and in Scania Sweden. The location in Sweden was specifically chosen because the director David Keating was a fan of the Swedish horror movie Frostbite which was also filmed on that specific location. Eventually he also hired the cinematographer Chris Maris who worked on Frostbite at that time. The result of their cooperation, you can see on the screen and I will say they did a fine job.

Wake Wood

The Story

Starts out with Aiden Gillen playing Patrick a Irish veterinarian, and Eva Birtwhistle as his wife Louise. After a tragic accident in which their daughter is killed by an angry dog, they decide to move to Wake Wood a small village. When the story continues we see a comparison with Pet Cemetery, because there is something peculiar about the wake woods, it has the powers / possibility to bring back the dead for only three days, things about to get interesting. After hearing about their opportunity to have 3 more days with their daughter the couple is somewhat intrigued by this. Before this there are a few excellent scenes where for example a woman comes inside the store of Louise with a pale looking girl, which see hasn't see before and afterwards she sees the pale girl being escorted by a group of villagers outside the town like it was a sort of ceremony, it was creepy.

Wake Wood

Well lets get back to they choice they can make, they did actually and they had their three days but what will happen after three days, let just say going back isn't as easy as coming home. Its important too put out that the focus not only lies on the creepy atmosphere which I found really well done, especially the eerie atmosphere the director gave to Wake Wood as a village, but also on the character development. Therefore the resembles to the classic Wicker man movie can be made, and not in a bad way. Aiden Gillen and Eva Birtwhistle did great jobs with their roles but Ella Connolly did a great job as the daughter she looks normal but there is something wrong, and she portrayed this perfectly.

Wake Wood

Although its slow paced at times, but with outstanding performances, a good story and a great atmosphere, I think the Hammer Studios did a fine job with this addition. Don't expect a gore or scarefest when you go into this one, but a solid movie with elements of horror, and interesting subjects like life, death, grief and the consequences of choices.



Wake Wood


Wake Wood


David Keating






Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall