The Wolf of Snow Hollow
Jim Cummings’ latest film, The Wolf of Snow Hollow, takes a humorous approach to a killer (potential) werewolf story and is more than worth your time this Halloween season. Read on for our full review of this week's new theatrical and VOD release!
Something strange is going on in the small town of Snow Hollow, Utah. A normally quiet county is suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a series of vicious murders rock the community. Murders that only occur during a full moon, and leave behind no evidence other than massive paw prints and a stunning savagery.
As word of the crimes spread, many begin to fear they’re having to deal with a mythical Werewolf. Local police officer, John Marshall (Jim Cummings), is eager to solve the crime to prove himself worthy of taking on his father’s (Robert Forster) role as the beloved town Sheriff. As evidence mounts that they’re dealing with something supernatural, Marshall struggles to prove otherwise and catch the killer. As pressure mounts, he finds himself turning into a different kind of monster that could turn everyone he cares about against him.
I had no idea what to expect out of this movie. The trailer painted it as an old-school werewolf horror film--and there’s plenty of that to enjoy--but what we get is so much more than that. For one, I certainly wasn’t expecting The Wolf of Snow Hollow to be so damn hilarious. Even among all the carnage and mystery, the humor is a constant presence with pitch perfect delivery. Ranging from snappy wit, dry humor, and even some slapstick thrown in for good measure, the film manages to balance them all with masterful timing.
Even more impressive is how the film manages to utilize that humor to help drive home the more serious themes of the film. Hell, one of the running gags dealing with Marshall’s frequent overreactions comes back in the final moments in a way that shows his character growth over the course of the film’s events.
This dichotomy, of humor and drama, plays out in just about every aspect of the film and I was blown away at how well the balance between them was maintained. Marshall himself is the primary origin of both. As a recovering alcoholic, we see the struggles and stress he deals with as he deals with an ailing father and the desire to prove himself. He’s a very relatable character who’s easy to root for even as we see him slide back into more destructive tendencies.
Where his personal struggle forms the crux of the movie’s emotional core, he is also one of the biggest sources of humor throughout the story. Though it would seem these aspects are counter to one another, they work well together, forming a character so engaging I want sequels (or a show) to continue his journey.
That’s not to say the rest of the cast is slouching; far from it. Everyone brings their best to each role and feel fully fleshed out, even if they’re only on screen for a short amount of time. Riki Lindhome’s Officer Julia Robeson is another notable performance and easily one of my favorites during the film. Her level-headed, insightful nature makes for a stark contrast to Marshall’s quick temper and makes for an engaging dynamic.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a mix of themes and tones wrapped in this comedy/horror package (which brings plenty of thrills and gore to satisfy that Halloween itch). Ranging from poignant social commentary to expertly crafted sequences of terror, evocative of old-school slashers. Yet even as it jumps around between these, vastly differing, elements the film never loses focus and feels like a cunning murder mystery that you can’t wait to see resolved.
I couldn’t help but fall in love with this film and I suspect it’s going to be one I come back to with surprising frequency. I went in expecting to see a Werewolf movie, but was blown away by the touching and hilarious journey of everything else surrounding the grisly mystery.