THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW (2020) Reviews and overview

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‘Welcome to Snow Hollow’
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 American horror feature film in which terror grips a town as bodies are discovered after each full moon. Losing sleep, raising a teenage daughter, and caring for his ailing father, Officer John Marshall (Jim Cummings) struggles to remind himself there’s no such thing as werewolves…

Written, directed by and starring Jim Cummings (The Beta Test; Thunder Road).

The Vanishing Angle-New Form production also stars Riki Lindhome (Knives Out; Hell Baby; The Last House on the Left, 2009), Robert Forster (Psycho, 1998; Uncle Sam; Alligator) and Chloe East.

The Bernard Herrmann-influenced soundtrack score was composed by Ben Lovett (The Ritual; The Signal; Black Rock; Synchronicity).

“Conversations between the perpetually irritable Marshall and the humorously low-key cops provide a number of big laughs. That’s not to say you won’t get some good old fashioned blood and guts. Cummings uses them sparingly yet effectively, and only to drive home the severity of what’s happening in the town.” The Aisle Seat

“Genre fans will be more than sated by the high gore levels, and the cinematography by Natalie Kingston evokes eerie, chilly sparseness and noir shadows. And while the third act resolution is a bit pat, suggesting Silence of the Lambs mixed with Scooby-Doo, The Wolf of Snow Hollow is only cursorily concerned with lycanthropic mayhem. The more interesting conflicts here involve personal surrender and letting go of the past.” Austin Chronicle

“Although The Wolf of Snow Hollow isn’t remotely scary (a problem, considering its multiple sequences of women being murdered under moonlight), it does offer some things that are worth being scared of, with a current of darkness that flows alongside the humor. Cummings has something thoughtful to say about werewolves, inner monsters, and maybe even violence, but addressing it would mean spoiling the movie.” AV Club

“This isn’t a creature feature, nor a conventional werewolf movie. It’s a comedic thriller that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty in violence, bloodshed, and deeply flawed character work. The horror is minimal. Enjoyment will likely hinge on how receptive you are to Cummings’ idiosyncratic, character-driven whodunit.” Bloody Disgusting

“The screenplay favors community hostility over supernatural showmanship, remaining committed to the people involved in the story, enjoying their idiosyncrasies and, at times, their unfiltered reactions. The Wolf of Snow Hollow succeeds in many ways, and while it eventually settles for a more conventional conclusion, the rest is frequently surprising.”

“It was too aggressive to the point where it became jarring, the film was also sadly overscored to the point where I lost what was going on in multiple scenes. There were just so many cuts and so much music that the plot got a bit lost. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy this film, I did; and everything it said and was trying to say.” Battle Royale with Cheese

“Occasional unsavory character moments aside, Jim Cummings has crafted a darkly hilarious, uniquely offbeat and wonderfully engrossing monster whodunnit with The Wolf of Snow Hollow that opens the door for fresh new takes on classic monster horror creatures.” Coming Soon

” …hard to hate on a spry 80-minute runtime that’s more intent on getting to the point than belaboring it. Maybe it won’t satiate appetites anxious to gorge on comedic carnage. Those who stick around for a charismatic cast working their way through character flaws and everyday conflicts will be better positioned to feel the introspective bite of The Wolf of Snow Hollow.” Culture Crypt

“As a slice of small-town life, Cummings perfectly captures the interbred nature of intimate communities in Snow Hollow where everyone seems to know everything about everyone, and it paints a truly vivid portrait where every resident of Snow Hollow feels fully realized and integral to the story overall.” Daily Dead

“The lovely images of the town, the score, some of the performances, and a few of the comedy bits work well enough to keep The Wolf of Snow Hollow at least intriguing to stay with. But next time out, Cummings should perhaps downplay the less successful genre elements and perhaps not put himself front and center.” Den of Geek

The Wolf of Snow Hollow tries to critique masculinity and occasionally is a horror film, but it works best as a dark comedy where the focus is not on a slasher villain but rather the poor sap who has to write up the paperwork after each mutilated body is found. Cummings gets that part of his film rather well. It’s quirky in the right ways, and he thankfully gives Forster a solid final performance to balance it out.” Film-Forward

“Balancing horror, comedy, mystery and dramatic elements is a lofty pursuit, but with the strong script and strategic editing choices, writer-director Cummings straddles all the narrative facets with ease. It’s a film that knows how to properly pace itself for the most part, attempting to scoop out its flavors in equal parts, never forgetting to keep the audience engaged as the mystery unravels.” Film Pulse

The Wolf of Snow Hollow works as both a fun slice of fright fare and a dramedy about a flawed man’s coming to terms with his father’s mortality, his fractured relationship with his daughter and accepting his own myriad shortcomings. Strongly recommended…” Horror Fuel

“Fits a suit of thwarted masculinity comparable to Jim Cummings’ Thunder Road (this time interwoven with addiction issues) for a pair of bloody werewolf claws […] This movie is so goddamn funny that you don’t really mind the fact that it doesn’t really work at all as a horror picture and the ending (while thematically sound) still feels like a cop-out of sorts.” Jacob Knight

“The filmmakers and cast are talented. The creature has an intimidating presence. And the setting is superb. But with a hero I’m actively rooting against and plot points that feel like they’re missing in the snow, The Wolf of Snow Hollow is as messy as the bodies being left behind by the big bad wolf.” Killer Horror Critic

“Cummings claims the Coen brothers and David Fincher as influences, and there are certainly echoes of Blood Simple, Seven and Zodiac here, but the filmmaker he most brings to mind is Hal Hartley: the deadpan delivery punctuated by bursts of expressionism, eccentric characters populating naturalistic environments and an idiosyncratic mix of art-house and genre sensibilities.” Los Angeles Times

“Cummings appears to have a gift for taking a pile of familiar, reshaping it and emerging with something endlessly interesting and effortlessly entertaining. The Wolf of Snow Hollow is all that and more. At its core, it’s a super deluxe re-write of Thunder Road with werewolves. I call that a bloody good time.” MaddWolf

“While the film shows that (John relapses, becomes more unhinged, and even has to attempt some real parenting for his daughter, played by Chloe East), some horror and a mystery unfold, too. That works well enough, even if the killings—so cruel (notably, the reveal of a tiny coffin) and nasty (One victim raises her arm, only to discover that more than half of it is missing)—are undermined by the jokiness.” Mark Reviews Movies

The Wolf of Snow Hollow does lose its way slightly in the second act as we focus more on John and less on his mission to catch the violent threat to his town. But I found the third act to be supremely satisfying and enjoyable. Without revealing the movie’s secrets, it took a frightfully fun turn I wasn’t expecting; and utilized some very tangible practical effects.” Nerdist

“Such character development and sweetness in the backdrop of a horror comedy doesn’t happen often, a testament to the ingenuity of Cummings’ screenplay. Things move quickly through Snow Hollow, the mystery gets wrapped up nicely, the werewolf attacks are believable, and watching Forster in his final cinematic appearance is emotional.” The Only Critic

“Jim Cummings truly delivered his all with The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Not everyone can write, direct, and star in a film but he excelled in all aspects. I loved his character […] He brought comic-relief throughout the film and there was never a dull moment when he was on screen.” Pop Horror

“The true merit of The Wolf of Snow Hollow lies in watching John Marshall slowly (or quickly depending on how you look at it, see my note on the editing) unravel while the stressors pile up and no relief is given. It’s a weird lesson to watch in 2020, while most of us aren’t dealing with possible werewolf attacks it becomes all too relatable to see a man just keep taking hits until he can’t deal any longer.” Punch Drunk Critics

“Cummings overplays the part, going from relatively stable to manic in ten seconds flat and never letting up.  Lindhome pulls double duty conveying not only her own competent character but in evening out her costar’s mania. The Wolf of Snow Hollow doesn’t quite work, but it does feature several eerie scenes, a natural small-town setting (shot on location in Utah) and a delightful last hurrah from Forster.” Reeling Reviews

“More than just your standard horror/comedy, The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a tonal balancing act, a movie that doesn’t go for laughs or horror as much as weave various tones and styles through its excellent script. I thought Cummings was a talent to watch after Thunder Road, and now I’m sure of it.”

“You don’t need to have supernatural creatures in your midst to have monsters on the loose. There are enough bad men on display in this film to suggest any number of potential human forms for its beast, and enough dismissive comments, misogynistic asides and XY-chromosome creepiness that the werewolf factor feels more like a symptom than the disease itself.” Rolling Stone

” …conflicting cultures and old and new sensibilities is further complemented by anecdotes in which small-town good old boys are chastised for their racism and homophobia, and by the fact that the killer is a sexist who preys on young, attractive women […] These textures aren’t offered up as obligatory window dressing for a monster movie as they’re The Wolf of Snow Hollow’s reason for being.” Slant

The Wolf of Snow Hollow is filled with interesting characters, most of whom get at least a moment or two to show us who they really are and what makes them tick (or avoid ticking), and Cummings doesn’t skimp on the handful of scares he gives us just before and during the attacks. It becomes clear that the unlocking of the mystery behind the killings is almost superfluous…” Third Coast Review

“The movie does get some zingers in, and it balances the humor with nicely atmospheric creepy small-town vibes (courtesy of DP Natalie Kingston), but the tone is all over the place and a far cry from the Fargo-y Coen brothers feel Cummings seems to be going for. If this is meant to be a commentary on modern male fragility, he handled that better in his debut.” Variety

” …this is a near-perfect movie and, just to sweeten the deal, it manages to tell a compelling, bloodcurdling story in less than 90 minutes, which is always a bonus. Werewolf movies have long been neglected and, although it’s too early to say whether Cummings’ unique, accomplished entry into the sub-genre will stand the test of time like its forebears, there are more than enough reasons to believe it will.” Wicked Horror

“Cummings strikes a tricky balance with the film; there’s no question Marshall is the center of its story, but the screenplay is careful to never condone his often reckless behavior. The mystery becomes almost an afterthought as Cummings explores the film’s underlying ideas of thwarted masculinity and addiction.” WXXI


The Wolf of Snow Hollow will be released theatrically and On-Demand by Orion Classics on October 9th 2020.

Cast and characters:

Jim Cummings … John Marshall
Riki Lindhome … Officer Julia Robson
Robert Forster … Sheriff Hadley
Chloe East … Jenna Marshall
Jimmy Tatro … PJ Palfrey
Marshall Allman … Jeremy
Laura Coover … Monica Bravo
Annie Hamilton … Brianne
Jessica Park … John’s Mother
Kelsey Edwards … Liz Fairchild
Gabe Casdorph … Local Man
Skyler Bible … Officer Ray Guttierrez
Diane D. Griffith … Diner Guest
Emmett Preciado … Dorm Boy #2
Dustin Hahn … Bud Foodtown

Filming locations:


Working title:

The Werewolf


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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