THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW is the latest film from actor/writer/director Jim Cummings about an unraveling police officer tasked with solving a slew of murders which happen to take place after there’s been a full moon. The film recently had its Texas Premiere at this year’s Fantastic Fest. The film stars Cummings (Thunder Road), Riki Lindhome (Knives Out), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Jimmy Tatro (American Vandal), and Chloe East (Kevin [Probably] Saves the World).
To best describe the plot of the film, I’ll turn to the official synopsis: “A small-town sheriff, struggling with a failed marriage, a rebellious daughter, and a lackluster department, is tasked with solving a series of brutal murders that are occurring on the full moon. As he’s consumed by the hunt for the killer, he struggles to remind himself that there are no such things as werewolves…”
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW is one of my favorite horror/comedies of the year. With terrific performances by Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome, and Robert Forster, as well as a revitalizing look at the werewolf subgenre, THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW is a film that’s going to quickly garner a devoted cult following.
The film starts off with a bang after a woman is found mutilated while vacationing in Snow Hollow with her soon-to-be fiance. It’s here we meet Snow Hollow’s police force as they arrive to canvas the crime scene. Jim Cummings plays Officer John Marshall, the son of Sheriff Hadley (Robert Forster), a recovering alcoholic who is one step away from having a complete and total meltdown. As his personal problems begin to stack up so don’t the mutilated bodies as well as sightings from townsfolk who have seen a 7′ wolf creature. With a police force that seems too inept to handle the case, with the exception of the cool, calm, and collected Officer Julia Robson (Riki Lindhome), the town dissolves into pure chaos. As more evidence begins to come forth that suggests there is a werewolf on the loose, Marshall becomes convinced through his spiraling haze that there is more than just the supernatural going on.
Jim Cummings performance as Officer John Marshall won me over instantly with his hilarious yet erratic behavior and his continued use of breaking the fourth wall. He’s a man that is quickly unravelling as he battles his alcohol addiction, an impending divorce, an unsatisfactory relationship with his daughter, and his dad’s sickness. Situated to be the next sheriff, he tries to do everything possible to convince his team and the town that a wolf, or werewolf, is not responsible for the slew of murders happening in Snow Hollow. Playing off his character perfectly is that of Riki Lindhome as Officer Julia Robson, a much more stable counterpart to Cumming’s portrayal of Marshall’s frenzied lifestyle. Robson is much more confident and self-assured; clearly, the one who should be leading the charge in this case. She’s rather unfazed by the murders and general mass hysteria; instead, she is more focused on solving the case with the clues presented. As for Robert Forster, in his last role before passing away from cancer in 2019, he gives us a heartwarming yet entertaining performance as Sheriff Hadley. Hadley’s relationship with Marshall has just as much tension as it does love, allowing for what felt like a really genuine family interaction between the two characters.
As far as the gore is concerned, fans of horror are going to be in for a real treat. Nothing is as startling as dismembered body parts against the pristine look of freshly fallen snow and there are multiple instances where that takes place. Furthermore, the design of the creature is quite impressive, especially in regards to the amount of detail that was put into it. I appreciated how Cummings held back on the full reveal, instead, he relied upon glimpses of the creature through the use of close-ups and the noises it made as it stalked its victims. By doing this, it allowed for the reveal to be that much more shocking as my imagination populated what I assumed the creature would look like.
In all, THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW is a highly amusing, noir-inspired horror flick that brings just as many laughs as it does scares. Cummings has a gift for telling engrossing stories through the use of dark comedy and outlandish scenarios and I’m honestly so excited to see what he does next. If you are looking for a film that combines mystery, intrigue, humor, and gore as well as turning the werewolf subgenre on its head, then do not miss THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW when it’s released on October 9, 2020 in theaters and On Demand.