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Review: Wolf House Shares Stylistic Similarities With REC and The Descent

Ken Consentino's Wolf House Shares Similarities With REC and The Descent

Ken Consentino has proven he can achieve impressive results on a next to nothing budget. It’s also clear he’s capable of using the same premise to create completely different films. His recent parody Attack of the Killer Shrews! plays up the hilarious chaos of a panic stricken group being attacked by furry creatures. Wolf House has a similar premise except replaces shrews with Bigfoot.

However this is a much more serious and technically impressive film. Shot in a found footage style it has the naturalistic believability of The Blair Witch Project but without the tedious pacing that makes that film so boring when rewatched.

Handheld forest footage, tense night vision sequences and split screen inserts tell the story of six hunters struggling to survive after running into what they believe is a Sasquatch.

Consentino’s troupe of actors manage to retain the humour they had in Shrews! while also keeping their likeable characters grounded in reality. Sound is emphasised as the cast often have to rely on their voices in performances that are often filmed at angles obscuring their faces. Especially in the case of Consentino himself who plays a character capturing the carnage.

Elizabeth Houlihan shines as Donna, who is shot less peripherally from the camera than the others and therefore gets to show off great range from tenderness to pained horror.

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Though Wolf House shares stylistic similarities with REC and The Descent it’s editing choices and interesting/unusual creature designs give it a uniqueness. As things take a darker turn the film occasionally cuts to footage of the group in happier moments, creating a tragic juxtaposition.

Fast camera work gives urgency to the manic third act. Although the tensest moment in the film is a fixed shot of an obviously real game of five finger fillet.

Wolf House is a fine example of what independent cinema can achieve with a talented cast and original direction.