Cry_Wolf (2005)

cry-wolf-poster-0The crime “Cry_Wolf” commits is that its safe, it’s completely void of scares, any risks, and it’s completely dry if you catch my drift. It attempts to be taken as a slasher film but it’s not a slasher whatsoever, it’s a gigantic tease. It starts off as a mystery, then forms in to a slasher, and then a mystery yet again. With great writing, and very good directing, the constantly shifting themes could have served for a brilliant and utterly engrossing horror entry, but with hackneyed writing and utterly broad characterization, “Cry_Wolf” goes limp. Like having a vasectomy and contemplating sex, it seems fun, but in the end it does nothing but fire off blanks. It wants to be the murder mystery of the computer age, but it comes off more like a lame-brained “Scream” and that’s not saying much, I can tell you that.

“Cry_Wolf” begins with a posh high school and a group of kids whom love to play games about lies, and the leader, a young vixen named Dodger, and the new student named Owen invent a serial killer to continue their game. But when the people involved in the game end up with a slight case of death, they think someone is taking the lie all the way. Normally, such a concept with the theme of “The Boy who Cried Wolf” would be fun, but “Cry_Wolf” is insanely dull. When I mean dull, I mean the film bored me to tears, and my attention span is usually pretty good. It really attempts to form characterization, exposition, and entertainment but basically fails on both ends with characters whom are one dimensional, interchangeable, and performances that range from wooden (Jon Bon Jovi) to boring (Julian Morris).

Did I mention the ubiquitous Gary Cole has a criminally small role? I’ve yet to see a film that can successfully mount tension by having its characters typing on a computer, and this film is no exception. Most of the supposed tension relies on watching these people type over AOL and posting exchanges back and forth while we gasp and say “Did you see what that person typed?!” Yes, I’m yawning just remembering. “Cry_Wolf” fails to build anything resembling tension or suspense, and nothing happens at all at least until the hour mark, and for a ninety minute film, that’s pretty damn pathetic. And as per usual “Scream” style, the red herrings fly fast, and they fly furious, and they can be pretty damn ridiculous. The writers never fool us, they just jerk us around, and I don’t like to be jerked (use that line to your own amusement).

A mystery is supposed to pull the rug out from under us, and “Cry_Wolf” fails to do so because its mystery isn’t compelling, and its characters aren’t involving. As overrated as “Scream” is, it did have a very engrossing  mystery with a shocker of an ending, and “Cry_Wolf” aspires to do so and fails. The climax basically reveals two “surprise” plot twists, both of which are extremely insulting, because I felt like I just wasted my time for nothing. While it’s not as awful as I’d read about, with occasionally fun moments, and the utterly sexy Lindy Booth really making this worth watching; “Cry_Wolf” wants to be taken seriously, but the problem is it’s a bland imitator, with a lame mystery(that’s anything but), a really boring plot, and an ending that’s utterly insulting. In the history of horror movies, this is yet another lightweight. Like the story it emulates, it calls itself a slasher, but it’s all just one false alarm.