Wolf Town (2012)
Directed by John Rebel
Wolf Town is one of the easiest reviews I’ve ever had to write because it requires nothing more than the use of one word to fully describe everything you need to know about it: boring.
I really could end this review right now. You could stop reading right now. Little else needs to be said to explain why this movie isn’t worth your time. It isn’t suspenseful, dramatic, funny, campy, or entertaining. It is simply boring from start to finish. Since the editors of this website prefer reviews to be longer than one sentence, I will attempt to stretch this one out a few more paragraphs in much the same way Wolf Town stretches its own thin premise out.
I saw Wolf Town last year when I bought a cheap Thai import DVD of it hoping for a decent nature gone amok movie about a group of teens trying to stay alive after getting trapped in a 19th century ghost town that's home to a pack of ravenous and cunning wolves. I intended to review it back then but honestly couldn’t think of much to write about other than to repeatedly reiterate how bored I was watching the film.
Since Wolf Town’s US DVD release is at the end of this month, I decided I might as well bang out a quick review. I don’t know if potentially riding the four-legged heels of The Grey had anything to do with the timing of the American release, but I can assure you right now that as bored as I was watching this film, I cannot even fathom how much more negative my reaction might have been had my viewing of it come so shortly after watching Joe Carnahan’s masterful take on a movie built around a small group of people trapped in a remote location while being hunted by a wolf pack. I know it’s not fair to compare the two films so I’ll just say that at least The Grey had enough common sense not to try and toss in some half-assed environmentalist message during the third act to try and explain why the wolves were hunting the main characters.
The most novel thing the producers of Wolf Town did was employ real wolves instead of just creating them with computers. The double edge of that sword is that there’s only so much you can do with real wolves, especially for a movie with a budget as obviously low as this one. There are four characters in mortal peril, all of three wolves terrorizing them, and a tiny, desolate ghost town location. That limits the body count on both the human and wolf side, limits the settings in which action can occur, and requires that an inordinate amount of time be devoted to the lifeless melodrama that is their personal dynamics.
Movies of this nature live or die depending on how much tension they can generate and emotion attachment you feel for the characters. Wolf Town dies a slow death in both departments. Any sense of forward momentum comes to a dead stop after only 15 to 20 minutes. The actors acquit themselves well enough given how talkative the leaden screenplay is, but nothing they said or did ever made me give a damn. You would think using real wolves would make the attack scenes more intense – they don’t. This is one of the dullest nature gone amok movies of recent memory.
There are inklings of a three little pigs metaphor as the three main characters run from one dilapidated house to another, but I’m afraid the only thing that blows is this movie.
1 out of 5