Wild Country

Wild Country


Reviewed by: Kotleta

Neds lost in the country. Being attacked by werewolves. As a concept, I like. As a way to spend 90 minutes of a fast diminishing youth, I like less.

But for an ill-judged and cowardly refusal to commit to tone, this could have been the Scottish Shaun Of The Dead. Sadly, there is comic relief without the actual comedy. The laughs come mostly in the wrong places. There are monsters and screaming, but no fear. Mind you, maybe it was supposed to be a six Kleenex tragedy and I missed the point completely.

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The best scare is wasted in the first five minutes. Kelly-Anne, or Kelly-Marie, or Kylie-Joanne - whatever! - screams in red-faced torment as she experiences first-hand the unpleasant consequence of unprotected teenage sex. How very cinema verite. Don't do it kids.

Even more true to life, her boyfriend Lee's declaration of love expired 10-minutes after her knickers came off. With the product of their love/Buckfast binge swiftly shipped out for adoption by the ministrations of sinister Father Steve, Kelly-whatever recuperates by hiking through some muddy fields with a few of her bestest friends from the church youth club. And her no-good ex.

Just as Glasgow's Romeo and Juliet are rekindling their affair, nemesis strikes in the shape of... um. Nobody seems quite sure what it is. But it's very funny. They've been variously described as Wombles, hedgehogs and bears with anthrax, but I maintain that the special effects designer based the world's lamest monsters on the "rodents of unusual size" which inhabited the fire swamp that Wesley and Buttercup escaped to in The Princess Bride.

There's a good gory bit towards the end, but this looks expensive so was probably shot first, leaving only 50p to supply enough fake blood for all the other deaths. It's very difficult to make an effective monster-based horror flick when there's not enough in the budget to do it properly, but one solution would have been to keep the Poundstretcher monsters in the shadows and turn the lights on the actors instead. They might have been able to convey the emotion of fear more successfully if the audience could see their faces.

In its corner, Wild Country has energy, enthusiasm and an original plot twist. It comes close to being hilarious, but sadly the gap between potential and reality is too far for imagination to leap, rendering it merely mediocre.

Reviewed on: 08 Feb 2006
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Monster horror flick in poundstretched kilted country.
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Chris Brooks ***1/2

Director: Craig Strachan

Writer: Craig Strachan

Starring: Samantha Shields, Martin Compston, Peter Capaldi, Nicola Mulfoon, Jamie Quinn, Kevin Quinn

Year: 2005

Runtime: 67 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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