Looking for the big bad wolf Writer-director Jim Cummings new film holds a mirror to toxic-masculinity
The Wolf of Snow Hollow isn’t the horror monster movie I expected instead it’s a suspense film that has sparks of humor but that at its core is about emotional maturity, toxic-masculinity, and daddy issues. The film opens at a AA meeting with a man having major anger issues towards his ex-wife that turns out to be Sheriff John Marshall (Jim Cummings) interrupted by his phone ringing. John is a man trying to step into his father’s shoes and finding them too big for him. John’s anger is palatable and spews out at his ex-wife, daughter, other police officers, and even his father Sheriff Hadley (Robert Forster, in his final film) dealing with health issues. It’s why when an unexpected violent murder comes to Snow Hollow, Utah John looks at it as an opportunity to prove he’s the man his father is but instead it causes the cracks in his armor to spread. Murders that happen only at night with a full moon and have very selected victims make people think that it’s some sort of supernatural creature <cough> werewolf which infuriates him all the while seeing leadership slip away as the more capable Julia (Riki Lindhome) takes charge.
I have to say this was a fascinating film to watch as I tried to piece together the clues about what was going bump in the night with John <well> mostly Julia who uses detective skills to figure out what was going on. Watching John flail from falling off the wagon from his not being able to control his anger issues and casual obtuse sexism towards any woman/girl that comes into his orbit made me wonder who is really the monster especially as a woman. The way that Jim Cummings used shadow and shape to flesh out the mystery had me on the edge of my seat. I don’t want to post a spoiler about what/who the wolf is but it had me delightfully surprised and engrossed the entire film. The supporting cast enriched the story that built more in the with my standouts being the rebellious teen daughter (Chloe East) angry for valid reasons with her absent father John, Officer Julia Robson doing the job but dealing with sexism from fellow officers and the public, PJ Palfrey (Jimmy Tatro) portrayal of anger and heartache over Liz Fairchild (Kelsey Edwards) that’s been all of us with a boyfriend who insists on standing up for what he thinks is right damned the consequences.
I strongly recommend The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a great horror film with a suspense twist for adults and older teens. It had well-done twists, well written and a great cast including Robert Forster in his final film. AND it made sense it wasn’t tied up in a neat bow but the characters stayed true to themselves and became better people <hmm> well working on it.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow: A stressed-out police officer struggles not to give in to the paranoia that grips his small mountain town as bodies turn up after each full moon.
Production companies: New Form, Vanishing Angle
Distributor: Orion Classics
Cast: Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome, Robert Forster, Chloe East, Jimmy Tatro
Director-Screenwriter: Jim Cummings
Producers: Matt Miller, Natalie Metzger, Benjamin Wiessner, Kathleen Grace, Matt Hoklotubbe, Michael McGarry
Director of photography: Natalie Kingston
Production designer: charlie Textor
Editors: Patrick Nelson Barnes, R. Brett Thomas
Composer: Ben Lovett
Casting director: Amey Rene