OCTOBER 7th, 2020
MOVIE: THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW
STARRING: JIM CUMMINGS, ROBERT FORSTER, RIKI LINDHOME, CHLOE EAST
DIRECTED BY: JIM CUMMINGS
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
The werewolf picture can be the best of what the horror genre has to offer. I still get a kick out of Lon Chaney Jr.’s transformation from man to wolf, as the full moon glows over his head. Other films, such as The Howling, Ginger Snaps, or An American Werewolf in London, do an excellent job of showing off a human, transforming into a beast, with gnashing teeth, and sharp claws. The Wolf of Snow Hollow does not make it about the monster that is attacking, but more about the people in a small town that it is happening to. Director, writer, and star Jim Cummings puts his own stamp on the folklore of werewolves, with focus on the case at hand. A string of gruesome murders in the small Utah mountain town of Snow Hollow has everyone on edge, but specifically Sheriff John Marshall (Cummings). With each person killed, the town becomes more desperate, sending John into a spiral of emotions, worried about his daughter (Chloe East), and trying to put a stop to whatever person or beast is doing this. The Wolf of Snow Hollow is manic and fast moving, a horror movie that will become more legendary as the story continues to be told.
What The Wolf of Snow Hollow does not lack is originality. It’s an unexpected pace, with Cumming’s writing style in the veins of Cohen brothers meets David Fincher. His character of John Marshall is a mixture of a Jim Carrey comedic type and a Zodiac investigating Jake Gyllenhaal. He talks fast, he feels the pressure from everyone, including his soon to be retired father Sheriff Hadley (Robert Forster), who his son just can’t get to take a break, and then there are his simple minded co-workers. He can only rely on Officer Julia Robson (Riki Lindhome) for support, and even then he makes it difficult with how crazy he is going. The final result is a combination of dark humor, a werewolf mystery, and a slice of small town police work.
Even if the fast paced, manic energy of The Wolf of Snow Hollow does not work for you entirely, which for me was off putting at times, it is undeniable that Jim Cummings is a rare talent. The Wolf of Snow Hollow has his own original spin, with gorgeous lighting, and settings in the bright white, snow covered town. His cinematographer Natalie Kingston hovers the camera from above, capturing massive, vast spaces of snow banks and pine trees. The backdrop sets up excellent moments of fear. When the beast attacks his prey, each attack is told in a montage style, building up with the camera in a POV of the stalking, and shocking us with what is left of the victim. With a mixture of uniquely drawn characters, some twisted humor, the thrill of a police case, the ultimate discovery of what is killing people, which makes it impossible to not stay intrigued by The Wolf of Snow Hollow.
It’s safe to say that Jim Cummings is the biggest highlight about The Wolf of Snow Hollow. His voice in cinema continues to grow, as a writer, a director, and through his performance. There’s depth to his character, as a father, a police officer, and a human struggling with his own personal demons. The Wolf of Snow Hollow is also a perfect final film for the legendary Robert Forester. He was an actor that deserved to be recognized and he always found his way to work with incredible talents. The Wolf of Snow Hollow will give audiences plenty of reason to howl at the moon in approval.
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW WILL BE AVAILABLE ON DEMAND THIS WEEKEND OCTOBER 9TH.
Written by: Leo Brady