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When the students at a prestigious prep school spread a hoax email about a serial killer, they start a game of terror and deception that has three rules: avoid suspicion, lie to your friends, and eliminate your enemies. But what starts as a joke soon turns deadly and now they find themselves victims of their own game!
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This movie sly jibes at the typical teen slasher movies that were popular in the late nineties, with shrieking blondes, knife-wielding killers, and plenty of bodies. But it's not only a good satire, but a good movie in its own right -- it deceives you right up to the end, with a complex twist that suddenly pulls the whole movie into focus.
Owen (Julian Morris) has just arrived at the prestigious Westlake high school, and it doesn't take him long to get acquainted with his jock roommate Tom (Jared Padalecki), the sexy school queen Dodger (Lindy Booth) and their pals. The gang all gathers together at the school chapel at night, to play an elaborate lying game -- until Dodger suggests they use a recent murder as part of an elaborate prank.
The kids send out a mass email saying that a mythical killer called the Wolf is on campus, about to kill again. But soon the prank becomes a series of vindictive, dirty secrets are revealed, and Owen is sent a series of threatening IMs from "The Wolf." And then suddenly the fake deaths they dreamed up begin to come true -- but what is real, and what is a deadly prank?
Don't go into "Cry Wolf" expecting lots of shrieky, bloody teen horror, or you'll be disappointed. Not much gore, not even much violence. It's actually more like a murder mystery (both before and after the fact), disguised as a teen slasher flick. Certainly it's a lot smarter than your typical high-school movie.
The complexity doesn't really show up until the finale, when the seemingly simple plot turns around and pulls all its strings tight. Hardly a plot hole to be found. People you thought were dead aren't, and a childish prank turns out to be far more sinister. Writer/director Jeff Wadlow soaks the movie in a tongue-in-cheek atmosphere, and a sense of intellectual horror as well as visceral thrills.
It also takes a few minutes out to mock slasher flicks, like the "so cliche" idea of a killer hiding in the backseat. The cast seems like a typical slasher cast, but more realistic -- the slut is flirty but not actually slutty, like a girl who is still getting used to her own attractiveness. The brainiac doesn't flaunt her intelligence, the chubby kid isn't funny, and the jock isn't a lunkhead.
Julian Morris gives a subtle, understated portrayal of a troubled young boy with a checkered past. Owen is essentially a good kid, but led into trouble by that classic downfall -- he's trying to impress the hot girl with his intelligence. Morris's finest acting comes in the final scenes on the movie, where his expressive eyes show terror, desperation, numbness, and finally frustrated horror.
"Cry Wolf" is a far smarter, creepier movie than most satires, and it also manages to be a clever flick in its own right. Solidly acted, wonderfully written.
then things kept happening that led you to think it was him. At the end when he was killed I like everyone else
probably thought he did it till thet twist at the end.
I bought this because I am a huge Jon Bon Jovi fan and he did a great job in the movie. His facial expressions and
little comments he made.
Julian Morris was excellent as the male lead. His face exuded that proverbial "lamb in the woods, deer in the headlights" cliche. Like Jamie Lee Curits in the first two "Halloweens", he also exemplified intelligence and determination. He was not the equivalent of the usual "dumb jock" or "bonde ditz", who falls and hurts her ankle, then limps along until the big knife stops her singing career. The fact that he is British added to the emphasis already placed on him as the lead.
You know that you really loved a movie when you hated for it to end and you continue the movie in your head. There are few movies I have felt that way about. This is one. Lindy Booth was excellent:not the sexiest, not the most beautiful, pretty enough to be believably devilish, yet innocent-looking enough to pull off what she did in the movie.
I own many slasher flicks. This is one of the best. The story is not completely new, but you will never know that because of all that is in this movie. The acting is top notch, with moslty unknown actors. One benefit of a movie like this is its believability--Could it happen in real life? This always helps such a movie. The extras on the dvd are entertaining and only make you feel that you got more than your money's worth. Believe me, after watching this movie, you will get more than your money's worth.
As slasher flicks go, this one was so good, that I did not even notice that it was not filled with gore and bringing outside the characters insideds, if you know what I mean. Too many movies in this genre make the mistake of thinking brains on the floor or intestine on the walls is a substitute for a storyline. It is not. Having not picked up on this point, until I read someone else's review, made me realize all the more how good this movie is. This was not just a slasher flick. It was a mystery wrapped around a slasher flick. You actuall had to think during the movie, as opposed to just sitting and enjoying a bunch of young white partyers, drug users, horny partying teens getting slashed, sliced and falayed. So, while this movie did make me think, it did not do so capriciously, to the point that the thinking overrode the entertaining.
I understand that this is the director's first major motion picture. In a genre that is hard to stand out, this director did.
So good it deserves a sequel.
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