The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a gory blend of dark humor and hilarious tragedy.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a mystery comedy horror that has a fresh and unusual style that mixes dark humor with drama and gory over the top horror. It’s a snappy mix with deadpan humor and great editing that depicts John’s character in a wonderful way. The unlikable selfish character is a bold choice for the head lead. But it works very well to show him as a selfish, but also tragic and vulnerable man. When things spiral out of control, John is about to lose control himself and that is the strength of the film that is based on his character and makes the killings a means to a cathartic end.
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Officer John Marshall is having a rough time. He’s an alcoholic who is sober for six years and goes to the AA meetings, but he has a lot of anger issues and is bit neurotic. He fights with his ex-wife and his 17 year-old daughter is staying with him during the holidays. His father is the sheriff of Snow Hollow but has a heart condition but refuses to retire. When also a murder spree torments the town and everyone assumes it’s a werewolf, John is slowly breaking down and returns to old bad habits, while dealing with the craziness and chaos that is going on all around him.
Why you should watch it
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is an unusual mix of mystery, horror and comedy. It’s of course about who the killer is, if it’s a man or a werewolf. The kills are very brutal and gory but shot is a very absurd and over the top gory way. But still, the outcome is rather harsh and dark. In the midst of it all is John and the film is actually about him. It’s how he deals with all this mayhem and chaos that is the focus of the story and is cause for some dark humor, but eventually it’s also quite tragic.
The film has a great structure with snappy editing that connects the murders, the examinations of the body and the aftermaths with John himself in a great way. While the film and the story is all about him, John himself also makes everything about him. If he hasn’t enough on his mind already some weird werewolf wannabe makes his life even worse. Even his dad’s illness is rough on John who accuses his dad of making his life even harder. And when his daughter is hurt he’s mad at her because she broke the rules not once asking how she’s doing. John is the center of the film and not a likable person at all. He’s the center of his own universe and everyone and everything is a nuisance to him. And the murders drive him even more crazier, putting him on a path of self destruction. He’s drinking again and he is out of control and has severe anger issues. Everything is making his life miserable and he blames everyone and everything but himself.
But this behavior is also cause for some laughs. It’s dry deadpan humor mixed with some slapstick humor which is all very dark and is not for everyone. This behavior also slowly turns the viewers take on his character around for the better. From a selfish annoying man, he becomes a tragic figure that isn’t in control at all and that makes him eventually more likable.
A fun bunch of characters surround him, that are cause for an energetic dynamic which sometimes also can be the opposite, like inertia, in a very deadpan fun kinda way. Just like the editing, the dialogue is also snappy. Giving more body to each character.
The kills are violent and over the top campy gory, but all in a humorous way. The most brutal part of these kills is that only women are killed, which gets an ignorant remark from John, but we first get to know these women. They are all nice and we follow them for a while before they get killed off. The werewolf is seen quite early in the film, but that doesn’t solve the mystery yet. Although this mystery is solved in the end, it’s not really about who this weerwolf might be. It’s about John who has to go to his most darkest place before he can crawl out of it again. And these killing ironically help him do that.
My favorite part
When John is about to snap and attacks the mortician, then a sequence of John and the new kill, the crime scene and more is all mixed in a great montage that truly depicts John’s character and how he finally snaps. But the part when his daughter is making out with her boyfriend in the car and a neighbor is on the telephone and waving at them to warn them is a very fun scene. It also really does make you wonder if it really is a real werewolf after all.
Fun factor: ★★★★☆
Drama factor: ★★★☆☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
Cast and crew
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is directed and written by Jim Cummings. It stars Jim Cummings (Officer John Marshall), Riki Lindhome (Officer Julia Robson), Chloe East (Jenna Marshall) and Robert Forster (Sheriff Hadley).
Duration: 83 minutes. Music: Ben Lovett. Cinematography: Natalie Kingston. Edited by: Patrick Nelson Barnes, R. Brett Thomas. Produced by: Kathleen Grace, Matt Hoklotubbe, Michael J. McGarry. Production companies: Vanishing Angle, New Form. Distributed by: United Artists Releasing, Orion Classics.