Wake Wood (David Keating, 2011)

Its messy final third aside, which substitutes thoughtfulness for bone-headed xeroxes of scary-kid film tropes and threadbare CGI gushes, this film inverts The Wicker Man’s rural United Kingdom terror (the luddite community of the titular town are mostly kind and decent, less sinister than sentimental about their family ties, more helpful than horrific: a characterization that makes the husband-and-wife protagonists seem like meddling cell-phone-toting modernists than innocents caught in a web of countryside conspiracy) and lifts the doom-fog haunting Don’t Look Now (we realize the psychic implications of occult actions at the same time that the grieving leads do) in the service of an economical narrative that poses more questions about death and mourning than it is prepared to answer.

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