Monday, 18 August 2014

RAISED BY WOLVES - A review by Paul Worts

Directed by Mitchell Altieri, Starring: Jenna Haze, Evan Crooks, Monty Geer. Horror, US, 2014, 79mins, cert 15.
Released in the UK on DVD on 18th August 2014 by Signature Entertainment

I’ll be honest, I was more than a little disappointed to find upon reading the film’s brief synopsis that it wasn’t about either wolves or lycanthropes. But this initial disappointment paled in comparison to the sinking feeling in my heart when it turned out to be not only wolf-less but a wolf-less found-footage shaky cam effort.

This however was not apparent from the opening sequence where we are filled in on the events which allegedly occurred in 1973 on a desert Indio Indian Reservation. A cult leader by the (unlikely) name of Ernest Plainsong gathered a group of troubled teen followers and after claiming he could identify demons disguised as humans living around the area sent his ‘children’ out to ‘cleanse’ the demons. Bad enough you’d think. But unfortunately some of his followers then began to claim that they too had this demon-spotting ability and a further massacre occurred within the cult itself.

Cut to the present day and a group of skateboarding obsessed teen males and their girlfriends drive out into the desert seeking the old abandoned cult leader’s compound. Why? Because it allegedly boasts a deep pool (presumably drained) which they want to skate in. Hmmm...

Cue lots of wobbly skateboarding footage, followed by lots of wobbly running footage; followed by lots more wobbly running and screaming as one by one the totally disposable and detestable group of friends are possessed by the demonic spirit residing in the abandoned commune.

Question: did they have microwave ovens in 1973...?

Porn star Jenna Haze makes only a brief appearance (in her briefs – see what I did there?) before removing her top and smashing an interrogating law man’s head repeatedly into the table. Frankly she does him a favour for this truly is a film in which the old tagline: ‘The lucky ones died first’ applies. I just wish the batteries on the shaky-camcorder had died a lot sooner.

* (out of 5*)

This review was first published on FrightFest .