Directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund
Screened at Grimmfest 2013
Setting events around cabins in the woods appears to be all the rage nowadays when it comes to horror films, and Swedish language flick WITHER is no exception. The group of friends, with relationships either present or blossoming within, set off to the cabin and we just know, having seen it all before, that things are going to go ‘tits up’ when they arrive at the cabin. After one of the guys persuades one of the girls to climb into the cabin via the back window and scare the rest of them, she does as she’s told, but along the way she finds herself down in the cellar, trespassing on the land of an evil demon. As she returns back to civilisation, it’s obvious she’s not feeling too well and soon she succumbs to the demon’s virus. Like all good virus and zombie horrors, the illness spreads, as one by one the group fall prey to it.
Whether it wants to be or not, Wither comes across as a poor man’s The Evil Dead. The characters are hard to like, and even become more of a joke than anything else. It’s verge on the ridiculous and lack of new ideas makes it a struggle to sit through. I’m not known for my love of zombie-type or cabin in the woods horrors, though I did thoroughly enjoy Cabin Fever and the original The Evil Dead as they brought fresh ideas with them. Ground already trodden and done better means that I found it near impossible to like this movie. Granted, the FX were pretty decent but the less-than-inspiring script and lack of innovation meant that it was hard to enjoy as a horror and film fan.
As the film progresses, it appears to introduce a bit of comedy as well as maintaining the survival horror as the friends suddenly turn to enemies. Not even a hunter, who’s wife and child have been turned, can help the young men and women. There’s a couple of cool yet funny deaths to be seen in the latter half that should raise a smile, along with a scene between the more metrosexual guy of the group and a woman who’s been lusting for him from afar. These impressive deaths combined with some pretty interesting camera angles (from what I recall), make these the highlights of the movie.
If you enjoy cabin in the woods horrors or even survival zombie films, then you just might enjoy Wither, but those looking for new and exciting horrors will find nothing new here, just a homage to genre itself.