The following review was written by Ultimate Rabbit correspondent Tony Farinella.
Good horror is hard to find these days in Hollywood. Between the endless number of sequels, remakes and jump scare flicks, it can be quite difficult to find a horror flick truly worth of your time. However, the beauty with cinema are the little gems like “The Wolf of Snow Hollow.” This film is also notable for being one of the last to feature the late, great Robert Forster. It was written and directed by its star Jim Cummings. Thankfully for the audience, he’s up to the task of being the lead, and he has terrific comedic timing. He knows how to balance the quirky tone of the flick, which is why it’s such a beauty to watch from beginning to end. The film is 80 minutes when you take out the credits, but it makes the most of each and every scene and character.
“The Wolf of Snow Hollow” is set in Snow Hollow, Utah where not much of anything happens on a day-to-day basis for local police officer John Marshall (Jim Cummings). In John’s personal life, there is a lot going on as he’s trying to raise a 17-year-old daughter on her way to college despite the fact he and his ex-wife don’t get along at all. There is also the fact his father, played by the late Robert Forster, is having health issues and struggling to stay retired from his job as Sheriff. It also doesn’t help that some of the individuals working with him aren’t the brightest and most ambitious bunch of police officers out there. However, there is one bright spot in Officer Julia Robson (Riki Lindhome) as she takes her job seriously and is there to help out John Marshall whenever he needs her.
In addition to these issues, John is also struggling to stay sober. He’s three years sober after being in AA for six years, but the urge to drink starts to increase when local women are showing up dead left and right in Snow Hollow. He’s having a hard time solving the case, which is causing increased stress and an inability to sleep until he finds the killer. He also wants to prove to himself, his daughter, his father, and everyone else that he is Sheriff material. The longer this case goes on, the more blame he is facing from the locals. There are theories out there that it’s a werewolf because of the work of the killer, and he’s not sure if he believes in werewolves or if his mind is playing tricks on him.
However, with each full moon another woman is gruesomely torn to shreds. The stress and anxiety of the job and John’s day-to-day life is getting to him. On paper, this might not sound like the type of material which would produce a comedy or a solid horror film. It’s all in the tone and delivery by the actors and what I would imagine was a very specific script. The deadpan comedic moments are executed flawlessly. The beauty comes in the little moments of the film where the characters are interacting with each other. John also has an anger problem, which produces some clever and offbeat moments. It reminded me a lot of “Fargo” if it had werewolves.
“The Wolf of Snow Hollow” is gorgeously shot as well, and this really stands out when taking the film in as an audience member. There are a number of overhead shots which are breathtaking. Near the end, Cummings decides to switch tones a bit, and this is a smart move because he transitions to a heartfelt conclusion that is satisfying on many levels. This is a prime example of a film with a $2 million dollar which makes the most of its script, actors and scenery. It was a film I was not familiar with until its Blu-ray release, but I was pleasantly surprised with it.
This is the perfect cult movie which is going to find an audience as it ages and more people check it out. With its Blu-ray release, now is the perfect time for you to discover and enjoy it. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I look forward to more projects from Cummings in the future. He has shown a lot of talent and ability here as a writer, director and actor. I had never seen anything from him before, but I’m very curious to check out his feature film debut from 2018, “Thunder Road.” He’s the kind of talent who likes to do things on his own, but he has proven it is a task not too big for him. I highly recommend you seek out “The Wolf of Snow Hollow.” You will not be disappointed.
* * * ½ out of * * * * __________________________________________________
Blu-Ray Info: “The Wolf of Snow Hollow” is released on a single-disc Blu-ray with a digital code from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. It has a running time of 85 minutes and is rated R for violence, bloody images, language throughoutand some drug use.
Video Info: The film is presented in 1080p high definition. It looks outstanding, and I loved the snowy overhead shots. For a $2 million dollar budget, as mentioned, it surely stands out on screen and there is a lot to enjoy from a visual perspective.
Audio Info: The Blu-Ray comes with a DTS-HD MA: English 5.1 audio track along with an English Descriptive Audio track. Subtitles are in English and Spanish.
· The Story and the Genre
· The Impetus
· Working with Jim Cummings
· The Design of the Werewolf
· The Story and The Genre
Should You Buy It?
Yes! You need to support independent cinema which is daring, takes risks and has something unique to offer to the film world. I have a feeling I’m going to be hearing a lot about Jim Cummings in the future. The film also comes with some solid special features as well. The Blu-ray looks outstanding and really adds to the atmosphere of the movie. The more removed I was from this film and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. It’s also only $14.99 at most major retailers. If you know someone who is a horror fan, this is the perfect Christmas gift to surprise them with this upcoming holiday season. “The Wolf of Snow Hollow” is a delightful surprise. I really enjoyed every minute of this film.
**Disclaimer** I received a Blu-ray copy of this film from Warner Brothers to review for free. The opinions and statements in the review are mine and mine alone.