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Last night at the historic New Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles, Dread Central, in conjunction with Dark Sky Films and Bloody Disgusting, presented the official U.S. premiere of Wake Wood, a Hammer Films production. Couldn’t make the event? No worries; the flick hits home video soon, and in the meantime we’ve got an image gallery from the June 16th premiere for you to thumb through!
From the Press Release
July 5, 2011, will be a momentous day for fright-film aficionados as MPI/Dark Sky Films has announced it will release WAKE WOOD, one of the first feature productions in more than three decades from the classic horror studio Hammer Films, on Blu-ray and DVD. WAKE WOOD marks a bold return to the gripping stories and atmospheric visual style that made Hammer productions the gold standard of horror via classics like The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Vampire Lovers.
The eerie instant classic, available on both high-definition Blu-ray and DVD, with SRPs, respectively, of $34.98 and $27.98.
WAKE WOOD tells the story of Patrick and Louise Daley (Aiden Gillen and Eva Birthistle), whose 9-year-old daughter, Alice (Ella Connolly), is killed in a horrific dog attack. To escape their grief, the devastated young parents move to the remote rural Irish community of Wake Wood (the movie was shot on location in County Donegal, Ireland). Sensing Patrick and Louise’s loss, the strange people of Wake Wood introduce the couple to a bizarre pagan ritual that will bring Alice back from the grave – for three days only. The Daleys find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree to terms with Arthur, the village’s mysterious leader, a far bigger question looms: What will they do when it’s time for Alice to leave them forever?
In addition to Gillen (12 Rounds, The Wire) and Birthistle (The Children, Ae Fond Kiss), the WAKE WOOD cast includes National Board of Review winner Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Nicholas Nickleby) and Amelia Crowley (Ella Enchanted). It was directed by David Keating (Summer Fling).
Critic Philip French of The Guardian (UK) said WAKE WOOD is “both touching and scary.” Sky Movies’ Tim Evans said, “Cinematographer Chris Maris has a keen eye while [screenwriter] Brendan McCarthy’s dark narrative makes this a worthy frontrunner in Hammer’s return to the horror fray.”
David Edwards of the Daily Mirror and Nigel Floyd of Time Out London also noted a connection to the Hammer of yore. Edwards wrote, “Thoroughly unsettling from start to finish, WAKE WOOD will please horror fans with its muted palette, ominously creepy atmosphere and neat nods to the best of ’70s British horror,” while Floyd said, “For all its pre-Christian paganism, demon child imagery, blood and guts, David Keating’s rural horror movie is at heart an involving portrait of a young couple struggling to come to terms with the death of a daughter.”
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Hammer on in the comments section below!