Wolf Manor Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Mitchell-Brunt Films
Directed by Dominic Brunt
Written by Joel Ferrari and Pete Wild
2022, 85 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Premiered at UK FrightFest on 28th August 2022
James Fleet as Oliver
John Henshaw as Landlord
Nicky Evans as Sam
Thaila Zucchi as Fiona
Between shifts in his day job as Paddy the vet on Emmerdale, Dominic Brunt has revealed a passion and knack for low-budget British horror. First came Before Dawn, his low-budget British zombie movie. Then Bait, his low-budget British (loan) shark movie. After that, his low-budget British adult baby movie. Then, Evie, his low-budget British supernatural thriller. And now, his werewolf movie – low-budget and, you guessed it, British.
Set on a horror film shoot in a remote English village, Wolf Manor is Brunt’s take on the broad horror comedy. Filming a low-budget Gothic vampire movie, the cast and crew find themselves fighting for survival when the set is invaded by a bloodthirsty werewolf. As those around them lose their lives and limbs, can pisshead thespian Oliver (James Fleet) and beleaguered assistant Fiona (Thaila Zucchi) survive until sunrise?
With the film’s low budget precluding any big Dog Soldiers style action, or American Werewolf transformation scenes, Brunt is reliant upon his gore gags, werewolf suit, and snappy interplay between the cast. The comedy is broader than it was in his previous work (no more men in nappies), but Joel Ferrari and Pete Wild’s script has plenty of crude laughs. There’s a cool werewolf suit too, but the more that’s on screen, the more the rubber bits become apparent.
Judging by the riotous laughter from the cast and crew in attendance at this FrightFest screening, a hoot was had during the filming. Like many movies about moviemaking, it’s not always compelling to those outside of the industry (I am biased against films set on film sets) but the characters are well observed. Fleet is of particularly good value as the alcoholic actor, while Thaila Zucchi makes for a likeable final (?) girl.
Brunt’s ambition is often outstripped by his budget and the logistics of the shoot, but his passion for the genre shines through regardless. A shaggy, rough-around-the-edges werewolf comedy from one of the British horror scene’s most enthusiastic voices.
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