Tonight’s review kicks off my first review of the Halloween season called THE CROOKED MAN, written by Peter Sullivan and directed by Jesse Holland. The film, a SyFy original, centers around a cursed nursey rhyme that unleashes a supernatural being that kills anyone who sings his song.
The film starts out with immediate action. They really don’t hold back from throwing you into the thick of things and it seemed like it was only going to get much worse. Oh wait, it’s just a scary movie being watched by a group of girls! What a way to start this film, with a nod to classic slasher movies. I suppose this would be more of a 90s slasher style but regardless I enjoyed it.
I could tell already that this movie was going to be slightly light on the scares but still fairly sinister. Considering the kids in the beginning of this movies are only 12, it reminded me how quickly the younger generation is growing up. It also put into perspective how cruel children can be to each other, especially little girls. Forced to play a game similar to Bloody Mary to prove her courage, the little girl, Olivia, sings the Crooked Man’s song.
I was never aware of the lore or stores of The Crooked Man until I saw THE CONJURING 2. So my thoughts that were currently running through my mind were slightly negative considering I was not a fan of the ANNABELLE spinoff; howver, I still maintain an open mind because I never want to judge a movie from the first 10-30 minutes.
As we flash forward a few years we are reconnected with our girl, Olivia, and she is a bit older and returning to her childhood home. We are led to believe that she has been living in some type of psychiatric rehabilitation facility and the whole town seems to know she’s back. I always enjoy movies when a town knows a rumor or legend about an individual and makes their lives hell – much like the SCREAM series.
As Olivia returns back to her home town, people begin to mysteriously disappear which only adds to the growing suspcion of the townsfolk. Could it be The Crooked Man? Olivina thinks so. Even her childhood friends think she’s insane and nobody seems to trust her. To me this is fairly typical for movies that are based around supernatural killings and usually creates a fairly tense vibe. You’re like “C’mon man!” because you as the viewer can see what’s really happening and it allows you to feel for the character that is being made to socially suffer.
Let me speak a bit on the Crooked Man himself. So the idea is totally creepy, just like any elementary folk lore. His design altogether is not really comparable to the Crooked Man in THE CONJURING 2; however, what the writers really created was their own horrifying version. They did a fairly decent job with the mak up design and the “glitchy” effect that they added to him. I understood why they did that but at the same time it slightly bothered me. It also made it seem like he was a bit over the top. It was like trying to watch a YouTube videon in a bad service area; however, he was fully equipped with disgusting noises and eerie growls which I did find myself enjoying.
The acting is actually pretty decent for a “made for TV” film and I could really feel the sense of despair that our main character seems to create, which follows all the way through till the end. The cinematography was actually very clean and smooth which I did find myself impressed with. The ending of the film did leave me a bit underwhelmed; however, I do not want to dive into details about it considering most of you horror buffs will probably find the time to watch this movie on the SyFy channel.
ALthought the movie wasn’t the absolute best adaptation of a “mythical character” in modern times, I would still recommend watching it. I’m sure you can easily find it on the SyFy channel throughout the month of October.