MZNJ_New_HYMHM_2now playing



Latest horror from IFC Midnight opens 35 year in the past, where a babysitter (Sydne Mikelle) walks into something horrible, thus setting the mood for what is to come. The film then brings us to the present where teen Ben (John-Paul Howard from 14 Cameras and Snatchers) is going to live with his father Liam (Jamison Jones) in a remote lakeside town for the summer. His parents are separated and dad even has a new girlfriend, Sara (Azie Tesfai). His parent’s impending divorce is the least of his problems, though, as a witch has taken the form of the neighbor next door (Zarah Mahler) and she is not happy that she’s gotten Ben’s attention…but, who’ll believe him?

The Wretched is written and directed by The Pierce Brothers, Drew and Brett, and if it sounds like Fright Night meets The Witch, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As with Charlie Brewster’s situation, we know from the start that there really is a witch, or Wretch (Madelynn Stuenkel) as she is listed in the credits, and a creepy wretch she is. Her true form is unsettling and much like her fairy tale counterparts, she likes to eat children and influences those around her to hide her creepy activities. Obviously, Ben is having a hard time convincing anyone his neighbor is a supernatural creature, even cute teen Mallory (Piper Curda), who has caught his eye, is highly skeptical. Ben’s behavior, as of late, hasn’t been exemplary and this is just seen as another bad reaction to his parents separation. There are some spooky moments, as The Wretch stalks her prey and closes in on Ben, and there is some very effective gore and make-up FX throughout. If there is anything on the downside here, it’s that the film never gets really scary or intense till the last act, when Ben is forced to confront his nemesis head on. It’s still a fun horror movie and not without some chills in the meantime. It also has a couple of nice twists, some unselling atmosphere and the Pierce’s have a great visual eye for horror aesthetics. We may have seen the twig and bone sculptures before, but they are still effective here. The occasional violence is equally effective, because it is used sparingly and has impact when it does occur. The film looks great. The Pierces are Michigan natives and utilize the Omena and Northport Village, Michigan locations very well to give the film a refreshing look as to it’s settings. The cinematography by Conor Murphy is excellent, especially in the supernatural scenes and the score by Devin Burrows suits the film very well.

The film is very well cast. John-Paul Howard is really good as our lead. He’s a likable teen and even if he is troubled and his parents separation is getting the best of him, we sympathize and still like him. A good performance, as Howard carries a lot of the film. Piper Curda is cute and spunky as Mallory. She’s sweet, but has a nice sarcastic sense of humor. Jamison Jones is solid as Ben’s dad. He’s trying to be understanding to Ben’s behavior, but at the same time, wants him to accept the way things are and adjust. Zarah Mahler is very good as hot mom next door turned witch Abbie. She’s sexy and and a little eccentric before The Wretch wears her skin, and can crank up the spooky once she does. Rounding out the main players, Azie Tesfai is good as the girlfriend caught in the middle of family drama, Sara, and one must mention Madelynn Stuenkel, who effectively performs under SPFX make-up as The Wretch in true form. The supporting cast including the kids are all good, here. Good cast.

This flick may not be quite as scary as we wanted and we have seen this story before, but there is still a lot to entertain here. It’s a fun horror, has some very spooky sequences and The Pierces know the tropes and aesthetics of this type of flick and use them well. The make-up and gore FX are very effective and the cast all perform their parts nicely. Add to that a spooky visual style and some great, fresh locations and The Wretched is a fun and recommended horror flick from directors to keep an eye on. Now available on Amazon Prime.

-MonsterZero NJ


Rated 3 (out of 4) candles, which no witch alter would be complete without.











  1. Pingback: HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: THE WRETCHED (2020) — MonsterZero NJ’s Movie Madhouse – Festival for HORROR

  2. Pingback: WEEKLY WRAP-UP!: APRIL 26th to MAY 1st | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  3. Pingback: MONSTERZERO NJ’S 20 SUMMER THEMED HORRORS! | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  4. Pingback: IFC MIDNIGHT’S “THE WRETCHED” RULES THE BOX OFFICE…AGAIN! | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  5. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JUNE 5-7 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  6. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JUNE 12-24 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  7. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JUNE 19-21 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  8. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JUNE 26-28 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  9. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JULY 3-5 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  10. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JULY 10-12 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  11. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JULY 17-19 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  12. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JULY 24-26 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  13. Pingback: WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JULY 31-AUG 2 | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse


  15. Pingback: MONSTERZERO NJ’S BEST/FAVORITE HORROR FLICKS of 2020! | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  16. Pingback: MONSTERZERO NJ’S 25 SUMMER THEMED HORRORS! | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

  17. Pingback: MONSTERZERO NJ’S 25 SUMMER THEMED HORRORS! | MonsterZero NJ's Movie Madhouse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.