Without spoiling, we review SNARL, a werewolf horror film that explores the topic of a man who has been accused of being a werewolf and his rescue by 2 kind siblings in 1934 AD England. Made by Dave Hastings of Lightbeam Productions, the makers behind “The House of Screaming Death” teamed up with Pat The Bull Films and many other production companies.
Starring Jay Podmore (Sustain), and reuniting Charlie Clarke with Jack Knight fresh from ‘You Are My Sunshine’, SNARL is directed by L.J. ‘Stark’ Greenwood, with special FX by Gary Hunt, Steve Bosworth and Troy Dennison while Will Bradshaw is Director of Photography with Suki Sandhar on camera support. Kaushy Patel is on exec producer duties for Pat The Bull Films and Paminder Bains for Brum Town Productions, with Dave Hastings acting as writer/producer for Lightbeam Productions
England. 1934. A young man, Elijah (Jay Podmore), has been captured and accused of being a werewolf by Clyde (Troy Dennison), a self famed bounty hunter from a nearby village. As Elijah is brutally tortured in a vain attempt to get him to confess, he suddenly finds himself secretly released by two villagers, Faye (Charlie Clarke), and her younger brother Benjamin (Jack Knight), who believe he is innocent. As they attempt to help the young man flee through the woods, all the while pursued by the maniacal Clyde, the night time forest suddenly reveals that some legends are not myth at all.
Snarl, as the name suggest relates to the wild animals, and here the case is of a werewolf story. Witch hunt is a popular topic for many horror films, and SNARL is a 20 minutes film about a similar hunter who hunts werewolves instead of witches. Werewolves have been made heroes as well as antagonists. Sometimes both. This horror film probably plays with the thought of the werewolves and their motives along with human interactions with them.
Beautifully shot in Walsall, West Midlands. The historical story starts off rather sadistically but things start making sense as the story progresses. We see a tired man without shirt who is a suspect werewolf being tortured by an elderly yet vigorous man- “Werewolf bounty hunter” in his underground basement. The hunter leaves his basement and goes out for some work, then the scene changes to two siblings, a lady and her brother, who have observed this for a long time and decided to rescue the man as he might be falsely accused of being a werewolf. They manage to get him out but can they escape the hunter, and will they find the truth of the werewolf suspect? The film is an interesting take on a rescue operation and also mixes with the horror as there are two layers of horror- Hunter and Unknown Werewolf in the Woods.
There are no suggestive scenes, nudity, bad words, or excessive gore. There’s blood, and gore but in essential quantity for the shock effect. You will definitely feel bad for a lot of characters here. Director and story writer have successfully played with the minds of the audience to deliver a ride that feels like a roller-coaster when it comes to the end twists. The ending, while might feel not so ideal, is more like a “lesson learnt”, or “a werewolf incident” kind of a thing than an incomplete ending. In fact, I feel that it would have felt like a forced ending if it ended in a predictable way of heroism. I also feel like they can make more films based on the current story but if they choose not to, then it’s still a well-made standalone horror film that doesn’t need any films after it.
The film is brilliantly shot as even nonviolent and non-horror scenes feeling scary due to the color tone of the film. It’s well complimented by the music, body language of the cast. The production value is great as the historical era is precisely portrayed through clothing, furniture, house, hair, and weapons. The acting and dialogue delivery felt natural, and like-able. Director achieves a good pace of the story and fills the 20 minutes with enough content to satisfy you.
Overall, 20 minutes long horror film Snarl is full of suspense horror, and werewolf action that starts when you least expect it. The film has nailed the historical feel, and is a visual treat to watch even with limited amount of places it shows you. Basement and forest, both are equally scary thanks to the lighting, direction, and performances. Great visuals, acting, direction, music, and horror feel helps to make this a worth watch for all horror fans who love some historical horror and of course, werewolves.
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