The Reel Review


There is something evil in the woods and it is coming for your children. And when it does, it will erase your memory so you forget your child ever existed. Such is the premise behind this low budget horror flick about a rebellious teenage boy staying with his father for the summer, who finds himself trying to uncover the mystery next door when the neighbors’ son goes missing.

What evil lurks in the neighbors’ house?

The cool premise, from brothers Brett and Drew Pierce, is a throwback to the low budget horror films of the 80s and 90s, borrowing elements from Stranger ThingsDisturbia, The Forgotten, It and even Aliens. The story starts off well enough, despite some thinly developed characters, hokey dialogue, a misleading psychological horror red herring (that itself would have made a cool plot twist) and some confusing, clumsy plot holes in its second half that could have been patched up with just a bit more effort on the screenplay.

Fortunately for us, however, the Pierce brothers did spend enough time on some surprisingly well-done visual effects and an abundance of chilling moments – enough to help us get past all those shortcomings. The Wretched works as long as you enjoy it for what it is – a fun, mindlessly entertaining horror film.


• With drive-ins being the only theaters currently open in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Wretched is the nation’s top box office earner for May 2020, earning $362k in revenue.

• Although its setting is never mentioned, The Wretched was filmed in Northport, Michigan.

John-Paul Howard and Chris Pine in Hell or High Water

The Wretched‘s star, Alabama-born John-Paul Howard, played the son of Chris Pine’s character in 2016’s Hell or High Water.

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