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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.96%
Worth A Look: 7.84%
Just Average47.06%
Pretty Crappy: 1.96%
Sucks: 41.18%

5 reviews, 21 user ratings

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by Peter Sobczynski

"How about 'Dog' or 'Turkey' instead"
1 stars

“Cry_Wolf” comes to theaters in the guise of being just another crappy slasher movie that promises the familiar sight of a group of pretty-but-anonymous teeners getting filleted by yet another masked psychopath. However, it turns out that the film is really just another manipulative drama in which every scene features yet another twist and it only starts pulling out the blood and guts (you know, the stuff that dominates all the commercials and trailers) during the last 15 minutes or so. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea in theory–there was a pretty intriguing film once upon a time called “April Fool’s Day” that tried roughly the same thing–but it doesn’t work here for the simple reason that the allegedly clever plot wouldn’t fool the average grilled-cheese sandwich and it ends with a final reveal that is so lame and so obvious that the largely teen audience that I saw it with (since Rogue Pictures didn’t have the nerve to screen it in advance) burst into laughter at its sheer stupidity–at least the ones that were still awake.

In the event that you have no choice but to see this film–suppose you are dating one of the stars or you bet heavily on Notre Dame over Michigan State with someone who prefers to take his winnings in a form other than money–you should be sure to get there in plenty of time because the opening scene is by far the best. It starts off with that most familiar of horror cliches–the pretty and scantily-clad girl running for her life through the woods while being chased by a psycho. She stumbles around for a bit and finally manages to hide herself away. However, her hiding place is revealed by a method that I have been waiting to see for a long time–the killer whips out a cell phone and calls her and the ring (good thing she wasn’t on vibrate) gives her away. In fact, I anticipate that this scene will someday be removed and shown before other movies as one of those warnings for audience members to shut off their own phones.

This random crime spurs the imaginations of a group of snotty archetypes–the Troubled New Kid (Julian Morris), the Popular Girl (Lindy Booth), the Hothead (Jared Padalecki), the Heavily Pierced Smart-Ass (Jesse Janzen), the Slut (Sandra McCoy) the Black Guy (Paul James) and the Asian Girl (Kristy Wu)–who spend an extraordinary amount of their time playing games in which they try to deceive each other for fun and profit. They decide to expand their game by making up a story that the murder of the local girl wasn’t a random killing but the first installment in a series of murders by a serial killer known as The Wolf. After spreading an e-mail that describes the Wolf’s alleged former murders, they sit back and cackle amongst themselves as panic begins to sweep the campus. (Well, we assume that–although the school is as large and lush as many colleges, there appears to be only one class being taught.) Unfortunately for them, the punks begin receiving e-mails from someone claiming to actually be the Wolf who vows to reduce them into bite-sized chunks.

There are just a few minor problem with the film. For one, all of the twists and turns in the story are wholly dependent either on people accurately predicting events that they couldn’t possibly know (for example, that the security guards at a ritzy private school would not respond to an emergency call that a girl was being attacked in the dorms) or the allegedly brilliant characters being dumber than dirt (such as the guy who suddenly realizes that wait, TODAY is October 31, not yesterday!) Another slight flaw is that all of the characters are so patently unlikable that we are rooting for them all to get torn apart like fresh bread. And then there is that ending, a real groaner that is nowhere near as clever or ingenious as it thinks that it is. Face it, if you can’t figure out what is going on after a reel or two, you just aren’t paying attention–an excellent idea under the circumstances.

There are a couple of mysteries surrounding “Cry_Wolf” but have less to do with the story and more to do with the presence of a couple of reasonably famous faces in blink-and-you’ll-miss-them roles. Why does Anna Deavere Smith turn up for a minute as the stern head of the school. Why does Gary Cole briefly appear as the Distant Dad to the Troubled New Kid and why, for God’s sake, does he inexplicably sport a wildly unconvincing British accent? Finally, who in the hell thought that it was a smoking-hot idea to cast Jon Bon Jovi in the lead adult role as an allegedly brilliant professor who give both academia and student-teacher relations a bad name? That said, it says a lot about the sheer silliness of “Cry_Wolf” that even though he is pretty laughable–he goes through the part looking like someone who thinks that John Peter Zenger might have been the bass player for Iron Butterfly–the idea of him as a journalism teacher is not the most implausible element on display here

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13090&reviewer=389
originally posted: 09/18/05 14:27:58
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell its not a good horror film or mystery it sucks 1 stars
10/12/13 David H. cliched, predictable, fluff 1 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
4/19/07 ashley great movie with a great and genius idea behind it 4 stars
3/08/07 David Pollastrini Not great not terrible 3 stars
2/26/07 Charles Tatum Another by-the-numbers slasher flick 1 stars
12/04/06 Stanley Thai Some thinks this is a bad horror film but come to think this is really a good mystery. 4 stars
8/19/06 Beau i thought it was a good suspense thiller movie, but i didnt like the twist & average acting 3 stars
4/01/06 J00rmom It was n00by like your mum. 2 stars
3/23/06 jesika WHOA! totally disappointed! shit ass movie 1 stars
3/21/06 Rebecca Better than the average teenage horror/ thriller movie 4 stars
3/19/06 JeromeBosch Puerile yet somewhat efficacious. 4 stars
3/18/06 CJ Dumb twist 1 stars
2/22/06 Frank Rountree Bad acting, bad movie, etc. 1 stars
10/11/05 bff A good film 3 stars
9/26/05 Mary Kate Olsen Sheena Gonna Cry 3 stars
9/18/05 R i can't believe you're all letting this film off so easy.. 1 stars
9/18/05 corinne surprisingly good. not the typical slasher film i expected it would be. 3 stars
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  16-Sep-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Dec-2005

  13-Jan-2006 (12A)

  23-Mar-2006 (M)

Directed by
  Jeff Wadlow

Written by
  Jeff Wadlow
  Beau Bauman

  Julian Morris
  Lindy Booth
  Jared Padalecki
  Jon Bon Jovi
  Sandra McCoy
  Kristy Wu

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