WOLF GARDEN (2023)
Lightning Strike Pictures. Out Now. Digital Platforms
Wolf Garden is one of those movies with a good central idea that doesn’t seem to know what to do with it to make it successful. As it is, it would have been better as a short rather than a drawn out full film.
In a remote cottage we meet William (Wayne David) who is in hiding following some kind of incident. He hears a wolf howling in the night and has nightmarish visions. Bloody hands. A woman crying and calling his name but there is no one else there. Or is there – as his girlfriend Chantelle (Sian Altman) arrives on the scene. Are these flashbacks to happier times? Is she really there?
Why is he chopping up meat and taking it to something which is locked up in a shed in the surrounding forest? And why does a local paper show their image as headline news saying the couple are missing?
This is pretty much a one man show as the majority of screen time is given over to William looking pensive, confused or scared. He is haunted by whatever it is in the locked up shack – unfortunately it doesn’t take a genius to work out what is going on, despite this trying to tease out the mystery that isn’t much of a conundrum.
With the timeline jumping around, the film tries its best to build anticipation but never fully grips and the slow pace draws things out. There are slight echoes of the classic American Werewolf in London as William talks to a dead person who may well just be in his head. It does eventually deliver what the audience are waiting for, but you will be way ahead of the curve and disappointed in the final delivery.
There is good use of sound and music mixed in together and our main man Wayne David shows some talent – though equally must take it on the chin for the failure of this tale as he wrote and directed (and was also one of the producers).