First of all, The Wretched is a scary movie. Mother of Movies is actually glad this was watched in daylight hours and not at night. Not because it’s particularly gore-intense or violent but because the imagery is a mixture of creepy silhouettes and, shining eyes as well as sinister things that hide from view. Directed by Brett Pierce and Andrew Pierce, the horror movie contended on 2019’s film festival circuit, followed by a successful theatre run before an internet release in May 2020.
The Wretched is now available to watch on Netflix and I recommend you add it to your watch list. The premise is a mixture of a malevolent spirit and folklore with evil intentions. Opening scenes dive straight in to show you what’s in store later on. With it, comes some very nice low key carnage before it drags you back to a few days later. It is also a film you could watch twice. The Wretched isn’t a super layered story but there is just enough to chew into once everything falls into place.
The story follows Ben, sent to live with his father for the Summer. Ben is struggling to accept his lot in life and he’s taking his parent’s divorce particularly hard. His father puts him to work at the local marina and Ben slowly begins to settle in, albeit unsuccessfully. In between run-ins with the local youth and discovering his dad has a new girlfriend he hears odd things at night. The people next door are acting increasingly more and more bizarre as the days wear on. When his neighbor’s son goes missing, Ben begins his own surveillance.
Watch The Wretched Streaming on Netflix
The writing is sharp and fully encompasses its role with very few things to complain about. If I did have a minor grievance it would only be about the slightly predictable ending. But even the finale places a nice little surprise in its method of delivery. What I loved about the tale is that there is plenty of legend-witch-lore that isn’t mainstream added to the mix and it definitely levels up what could have been an ordinary tale. The performances are great and the characters are likable. All the more appreciated when there are plenty of kills over the course of the film.
I can take or leave a witch storyline. If I were to pick a mythological entity as my least favorite type to be the centerpiece for horror movies, it would certainly be witches. Like ghost movies for some cinephiles, witches simply aren’t scary to me. I can obviously name a few exceptions to this statement and now I can add The Wretched to that list. This film is told well, has great effects, sound design, and takes the time to make the witch as scary as possible.
Overall, I really liked this movie. The Wretched is definitely worth your time if you want a darker and more sinister take on a witch that likes to eat children. For more information on some of the mythos that inspired the writing for this scary fairytale, I’ve added some details to the end.
I give The Wretched
4 don’t look under the bed out of 5
The Wretched Trailer 2019
- More witch movies: Mass Hysteria / Documenting the Witch Path / Pyewacket
- Also, watch Lifechanger on Netflix
- Directed and written by Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce
- Produced by Cailleach Productions
- Distributed by IFC Midnight
- Starring: John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Jamison Jones, Azie Tesfai, Zarah Mahler and, Madelynn Stuenkel.
Witch Folklore – Spoiler Section
The directors took concepts from Roald Dahls, The Witches as well as lesser-known mythology. Have you ever heard of Black Annis or the Boo Hag of the Appalachian Mountains? Here’s what Mother of Movies can tell you about them.
Black Annis: Is an English folklore bogeyman. This witch has iron claws and prefers to eat children. She lives in a cave that has a tree at the entrance and likes to wear her victim’s skin around her waist. She was known to howl and gain entry to houses through windows big enough to allow her to get in.
Boo Hag of the Appalachian Mountains: From the Gullah culture, this mythical creature is similar to a vampire. They have no skin and so need to steal a victim’s skin to use as clothing until it wears out.