When one hears the words Found Footage, the average horror fans either reflect glee or groans, and why not the quality of the quantity lately falls to an abysmal mess, while the standouts become few shining beacons. Hence, watching Wolf House film from director Ken Cosentino, a man known for wearing just about any hat on an independent film, assisted by first time co-director Matt D. Lord, brought along a unique script and moving into the realm of werewolf folklore. In addition, Ken who acted in the film as the character Joey, wrote the screenplay with Elizabeth Houlihan, however just a small problem the movie just makes it on running time for a feature, after all most know horror films tally to 90-minutes this flick 70-minutes. Now, reflecting back that budget of a mere $5000, anyone can see where the money went, and strives to delivers something new to the sub-genre. Matt took the opportunity to present limited pages to the actors, as to develop natural emotions rather than forced, all of it works, for the most part, as they secured distribution through Wild Eye Releasing.
The story begins in customary horror cliché fashion of a group of friends getting together to go camping, with Joey (Cosentino) as the main cinematographer and his love interest, Donna (Houlihan) anything else at that point becomes far more murky for the audience. The rest of the cast falls the standard stereotypes, we all horror typical expect, but existence works in this movie. The bunch enjoy themselves with extreme fun and Go-Pro camera for the POV (point of view) shots, all of these antics, allow the viewers to adjust to cast and begin to care for them, less about the lack of nature’s sounds. Soon enough the guns come out, the shooting of sport rather hunting occurs, setting in motion the next round of problems. One kills what he thinks is a Bigfoot, but the size doesn’t measure up to those proportions, while rest discuss what to do, our hero starts a series of selfies – unsure they we post no cell towers nearby, but he needs to justify the kill and his immortality. They strap it to roof rack and head back to society once home they place it in the basement, but this beastie not quite happy with one’s tomfoolery and awakening in absolute displeasure. Therefore what starts, as a werewolf cryptozoology becomes more of a human transformed killing machine, perhaps the reasons knowing the limitations, with their budget decided a safer method to show less full costume creatures. The humans appear a tad more ferocious and allow for easier scares, the cuts and bites allude to a rabid infection, which grows the army of killers. Sadly, every time the tension builds a flashback occurs, breaking everything the movie works to earn with the audience, and becomes a constant letdown within the film, in addition, at some point the veil of a found footage film which tries to show only their camera’s angle fails resorting to more of split screens and a horror story.
The actors work very well together, now understand there’s not an outstanding Oscar worthy performance but the characters generate a lasting likable quality which appeals to the audience. The budget challenges both the story and special effects, and yet the storytelling keeps the entertainment, especially for those forgiving of the independent market. The found footage falls away as if layers of an onion, the split screens, and the while close out generates the missing attribute of the cast the special featurette destroys that illusion very quickly. The full-on exposure of the creatures clearly shows the letdown of costume design, and hence more limiting lighting later in the flick and implementation of the night vision green haze, to cover this aspect.
Sometimes one discovers a movie of the no-budget end of filmmaking contact redeeming qualities, and Wolf House does that, now it is not a spectacular movie, average horror, with one good jump scare. The movie brings some humor and exploits a few silly moments, with tension however, the constant flashback lowers the intention of the foreboding horror in the woods. In addition, the scriptwriting rule to tell a story in the clearest fashion always a standing bearer, but for Wolf House skimping on the viewing time never a good thing with horror fans.