16 September 2005 | TheMovieMark
Quite entertaining for such a small budget and no-name cast
Avoid suspicion. Manipulate your friends. Eliminate your enemies. That's the name of the game that these fictional students play on campus, and on a bigger level it's the name of the game they're playing with the audience. Well, except for the "eliminate your enemies" bit. Though there were some annoying chatters that I wish could have been eliminated from the theater.
Working with a minimal budget and a no-name cast (except for Bon Jovi and Gary Cole), director Jeff Wadlow has shown us, just like last year's Saw did, that when your ambition is bigger than your pocketbook then you can still create an extremely entertaining film. This isn't quite as frantic and intense as Saw, but I have no problem admitting that it sucked me in and forced me to thoroughly enjoy it.
Get ready to bait your pole for a little red herring fishing because this movie's teeming with 'em. If you don't mind being manipulated as you try to guess who the killer is then you should have a fun time. I thought I had it figured out several times, and within the last 10 minutes I finally did guess what was going on ... somewhat. There was another small twist at the end that kind of caught me off guard. The movie is constructed slickly enough to convince you that you've got the mystery solved, but the twists are just subtle enough to throw you off the trail and reveal that you're not as smart as you think you are.
I get tired of people complaining about PG-13 horror movies. "I want lots of cussing! I want lots of gore! I want nudity!" Really? Well, I want a decent story that I can sink my teeth into and follow with interest. I want an element of surprise. I want dialogue that doesn't rely on ye olde "f" bomb as an uncreative crutch. I don't want to be seething with anger over a stupid plot twist that makes no sense in retrospect to the rest of the movie.
Cry_Wolf succeeds on each of these points, and if you keep in mind the limitations that come with such a small budget and remind yourself that there are no Oscar winners in this cast, then you should get your money's worth. If you're looking for a gore-soaked bloodbath with topless women running all over the place then you're probably just going to troll the message boards and complain about how horrible this movie is, so just save us all your whining and go watch a Chucky movie instead.
Cry_Wolf is not a slasher movie that is focused on how many deaths the killer can pile up. It's more of a mystery that is concerned with keeping the audience guessing for 90 minutes. I would've liked a little more tension and a few more scares, but I tip my hat to director Wadlow for a fine effort on such a small budget.