Movies: Wake Wood ***
(18, MARCH 25)
David Keating's Anglo-Irish co-production has been earning comparisons to that 1970s schlock classic The Wicker Man, and the praise is not unjustified, because Wake Wood pedals the same winning line of thoroughly preposterous but deadly serious horror.
Aidan Gillen and Eva Birthistle play Patrick and Louise, a young couple who move to the remote village of Wake Wood to try to recover from a recent trauma -- their only daughter, Alice was killed by a dog.
But pretty soon they begin to notice some rather odd things going down and come across a secret cult, which believes it can bring the dead back for a limited period. Patrick dismisses it all as nonsense, but Louise is so stricken with grief that she'll clutch at any straw, and agrees to join, in the hope they'll restore Alice.
Needless to say, she soon wishes she hadn't, and after a slow but ominous start, Wake Wood becomes commendably gory.
It's nice to look at for the most partl, and Birthistle is very good as the stricken mother. All in all, Keating does a commendable job of directing it, and only begins to lose his way a little when the plot, late on, goes postal.
Day & Night