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The Wretched; Happy For This Indies Historic Success, Just Wish it Was Better. Grade: D+

Happy first day of the month of August indeed! Certainly is a happy day, as my Chicago Blackhawks took Game One in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, putting up a 6 Piece on the Oilers! Keep it coming B A B Y, keep it coming!

The Wretched tells a story about a young lad named Ben (John Paul Howard) whom is visiting his dad during summer vacation, as he’s working at the boating lot his dad runs. Ben believes there is suspicious activity going on in this town, as some unknown entity is roaming around the next door neighbors lawn. That entity appears to be a Witch, whom acquires a great amount of power and enjoys kidnapping/devouring children.

The Cinematography was solid I would say, felt the film was shot well. The visual effects of this film is honestly the best part of this entire film. Felt the creature design regarding the Witch was good, it looked pretty terrifying as it looked practical than a CGI mess we’re used to seeing in these type of horror films. I honestly didn’t like The Score of this film at all, felt it didn’t resemble the tone of this film whatsoever. It felt extremely goofy for my taste, I was expecting something darker regarding music, but the music in this film didn’t fit with the vibe here at all. The cast all in all was fine for the most part. Ben played by John Paul Howard had a fine performance, not great nor bad. I felt the character was alright for the most part, not really a strong protagonist but I guess since he cares about the son of the next door neighbors, he’s worth supporting. I think the main issue with this character was the plot twist we’re introduced with this character later on. Given the fact this Witch has the ability to make people forget, the problem is Ben doesn’t get acquainted with this Witch till he arrived to his dads, so how did Ben forget that important part of his life before hand?!

So during Covid-19 the source of box office numbers have been coming from mainly drive-in’s, as The Wretched has made significant history. It has been making a decent amount of money, for a film that supposedly was only supposed to be released on V.O.D., made it’s mark across drive-ins in America, which is honestly cool. The Wretched resembles the likes of Disturbia, IT, and last years A24’s horror flick The Hole in the Ground. I’m happy for the success of this indie horror film as it made significant history, I just wish it was a lot better... I didn’t like this film.

The main issue with The Wretched is certainly the story, as it’s poorly written. Regarding The Witch there is a great amount of confusion regarding it’s powers and rules, as I struggle to comprehend with this entity. Let’s compare and contrast with The Hole in the Ground, as to how the entity came to be. The entity in that film is brought up, due to the fact the young child went down to the hole in the ground, as then on the entity kidnapped the child as it made a replica of the child itself. Very simple and easy to explain. How this Witch is brought about is this entity calls out for the child, then teleports itself to a dead deer the next door neighbors hit while driving on the road. The teleporting thing could be fine, however how exactly did this Witch knew where this mother and child was, when they were nowhere near sight of this entity?! So how it’s brought onto the scenery honestly doesn’t make sense, causing a great amount of confusion. So this Witch can make a replica of another person, then can whisper commands in ones ear, causing them to be under control by The Witch. How long one can be under control of the Witch nobody knows... But in the third act, can one explain why everyone under the Witches control just all of sudden kills themselves?! I thought it was in an act of sacrifice, as the back story of this Witch was based around trees, but apparently that’s not exactly what happens, so why is that?!

What annoys me is Ben rememberers the next door neighbors son, yet seems to completely forgotten their small infant child. I guess babies don’t matter?! Listen: I’m not a fan of babies either, I think they’re the most annoying thing on this entire planet, I can’t STAND babies. I don’t care if that’s an unpopular opinion, I stay far far far away from babies at all times. HOWEVER: I still have decency to care about babies regardless. If I noticed something suspicious going on with my next door neighbors, as I noticed their freaking BABY is missing, I would be very concern and certainly would not be the last thing on my mind. It could’ve been justify as The Witch made Ben forget about the baby, but then again it leads to the many problems regarding the power of this entity, as it doesn’t make much sense. Around the second act Ben has a chance in proving his innocence, by acquiring a photo proving the family does indeed have a son who is missing. For some reason Ben doesn’t keep this photo, as he calls the cops to report a missing person, leaving him to leave the scene to stop The Witch from kidnapping another child. In a situation like this, in which Ben needs proof that the next door neighbors do indeed have a child, to make himself not appear crazy... Why didn’t he keep the picture?! Of course you’re going to appear crazy in front of cops and your father who doesn’t believe you, because you have no proof but you did have ACCESS to proof... Just the level of stupidity gets on my nerves. Of course one moment in the finale, in which I won’t spoil, just brings a new level of confusion once again. I will say I did like the one twist in the last shot, thought that was cool.

Regarding the dialogue of course in horror we don’t expect much, but in this film it’s not on par with the tone of this film. It’s extremely corny, where teenagers say some weird lines that teenagers would never say. This film carries a great amount of confusion in regarding plot holes, that it’s hard to get behind this film, as you’re more involved in questioning the elements in the story, rather than enjoying the story itself.

Overall, The Wretched is crap. I don’t recommend this film, watch The Hole in the Ground instead as it’s a much better film than this. “Oh you don’t like babies?! I bet you thought you were real cute as baby.” Unpopular Opinion: I don’t like my baby pictures at all, I didn’t look cute till maybe five?! When I look at them which is rarely ever, it makes me believe in my sisters conspiracy theory, that I was adopted. Because when you look at my baby pictures and look at my parents... That theory does appear believable. Thank you to my sister for making me question my existence since we were freaking children! -Mitch Smietana

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