Wake Wood Review

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The rural Irish village of Wake Wood preserves a tradition enabling the dead to be brought back for three days, one year after their death, for a final farewell. But there are rules which grieving newcomers Patrick (Aidan Gillen) and Louise Daly (Eva Birthistle) break.


A grieving couple (Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle) move to an Irish village and discover the locals practice a species of magic which could, under certain strict conditions, return their dead daughter to life for three days. Making a bargain with the genially devilish community leader (Timothy Spall), they set about the requisite grave-robbery and blood rituals… only to learn nasty lessons when it all goes askew. This low-key, gritty entry from the revived Hammer Films follows Stephen King’s Pet Sematary in offering a gruesome gloss on the theme of being careful what you wish for, but also fits into a persistent strain of British horror about Pagan communities and unwary incomers. Well-played, especially by Ella Connolly as the creepy resurrected daughter, and nicely murky, this is familiar but likable.

Nothing too groundbreaking but a compelling rife on creepily occult British horrors nonetheless.