At a posh prep-school a British newcomer (Morris) finds the kids playing a complicated lying game. When a serial killer hits town they expand it to include the whole school. But who is lying to whom, and has the real killer decided to play too?
How much you’re willing to forgive Cry Wolf depends on how you feel about it essentially being an audition piece: the director and producer are winners of the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival, in which promising young film tyros are given a million to make a movie.
They’ve certainly aimed high. Cry Wolf is a teen horror/thriller that, if made by a studio, would have probably been budgeted at a minimum of $15 million. And for their paltry cash, director Jeff Wadlow and his producer Beau Bauman do pull off a few feats: helicopter shots, good location work and a truly original chase in the school library’s stacks.
Oddly, Cry Wolf’s biggest problem is the screenplay, which cost almost nothing and on which the team presumably had oodles of time to spend. Carrie director Brian De Palma has noted that the problem with recent teen horrors is that they deliver nowhere near enough tits or blood, and Cry Wolf does nothing to remedy the situation. Coupled with this 12A anaemia is a dearth of character moments that might flesh out the adolescents, as well as a plot that strains credibility to breaking point. The presence of Jon Bon Jovi in what looks like a wig doesn’t help much, either.
A second-rate slasher, but it shows the odd bit of directorial promise and a great deal of ambition.