WOE (2020) Reviews of mystery horror

 

‘You are not alone.’

Woe is a 2020 American mystery horror film about a brother and sister who stumble upon their father’s secret one year after his death. They soon learn that this secret may not be his alone.

Written, directed and edited by Matthew Goodhue (shorts: Dames; Virgil), making his feature debut. Produced by Lanie Albin, Ryan Gibson (High Voltage), Marco Rodriguez and Ryan Shrime.

The Decipher Entertainment-Mr. Griever Films-Research Films co-production stars Jerilyn Armstrong, Russell Becker, Adam Halferty, Ryan Kattner, DeVaughn LaBon, Jessie Rabideau and James Russo.

Plot:

One year after their father’s death, Charlie (Adam Halferty) endlessly repairs the old family house while his sister, Betty (Jessie Rabideau) decides to sell their father’s car without her brother’s consent – the same car their father committed suicide in.

As the two avoid confronting their prolonged grief, mental health, and each other, a hunchbacked creature shadows their every move. Their estranged Uncle Pete (James Russo), believed to be dead, claims to have answers – if only Charlie and Betty would get out of their own heads and accept help…

Reviews:

“If you’re looking for a ghost story filled with jump scares, this would not be the film. It feels deeply personal and a film that may need several watches to fully comprehend. This is Goodhue’s first full-length movie after creating some short films. He’s smart, keeping this compact and focused.” B&S About Movies

“Goodhue deliberately underplays this film to make us ask hard questions about its raison d’être and surprises us with the answers we find on our own. Those answers may not be the ready and willing ones we’re used to seeking; instead, they’re spikes of reality staring us in the face while we’re looking hard for the easy way out. And in that, Woe is a masterful success.” DC Filmdom

“I have to give it credit for never getting boring, which is usually the biggest dealbreaker. Ultimately, this movie both wins on (and suffers from) the same as the movie Caveat […] They are both movies that score extremely high on evoking horror in creative ways. Unfortunately, this seems to be (to a point) at the expense of the storyline itself.” Heaven of Horror

The performances have a sleepwalking blandness, dictated by the character requirements. Too little of the mystery is divulged too slowly, in teeny, tiny revelations. There’s little suspense or urgency to Charlie’s plight. We’re missing a lot because a lot seems left out. Woe is the filmmaker who can’t get more “horror movie” in an 85-minute film.” Movie Nation

“The three performances sell the story, the Twilight Zone weirdness, and the human pathos that underly everything. Woe is a slow burn, rushing nothing but punctuating its fog of depression and sorrow with bursts of action and brief, welcome splashes of humor.” UK Film Review

“Unfortunately, with its somewhat slow pacing and deliberately obscure plotting, the first hour of Woe ends up somewhere between creepy and frustrating. There are moments that sent a shiver up my back, but it was frequently replaced by annoyance that so little of it made any sense […] Granted a film doesn’t always have to explain everything, but Woe felt like it left too much unexplained.” Voices from the Balcony

Release date:

Woe premiered at the virtual Massachusetts Independent Film Festival on September 24th 2020.

Gravitas Ventures and Kamikaze Dogfight will release Woe in the USA on DVD and Digital on June 15th 2021.

Cast and characters:

Jerilyn Armstrong … Cindy
Russell Becker … Thomas
Adam Halferty … Charlie Dennistoun
Ryan Kattner … Benjamin Hennessey
DeVaughn LaBon … Russ
Jessie Rabideau … Betty Dennistoun
Flora Rubenhold … Bridget
James Russo … Uncle Pete
Jason Tippet … Nick

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical details:

84 minutes

Trailer:

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