The Wretched is an indie horror from writer-directors Brett and Drew T. Pierce that dives into the supernatural events that take place during a summer. Set in a picturesque coastal town, rebellious teenager, Ben (John-Paul Howard), visits his father (Jamison Jones) as he deals with his parents’ separation. Ben works for his father at the marina and befriends Mallory (Piper Curda), with whom he develops feelings for and recruits as his partner-in-crime when he begins to suspect that something may be awry with his neighbour, Abbie (Zarah Mahler) and her family.

This film is filled with fantastic practical effects thanks to Erik Porn, makeup effects supervisor. The choice to utilise practical effects was in part inspired by The Pierce Brothers’ father, Bart Pierce, who was the visual effects artist on Evil Dead. The Wretched should be praised for its impressive visuals while working with such a low budget, as well as Conor Murphy’s cinematography, where the most memorable shots at the beginning of the film set its unnerving tone. However, these factors are just not enough for the film to succeed in its attempts to scare. 

The story itself is muddled; there are many subplots involving Ben’s past as well as his run-ins with the rest of the teenagers in town, and these feel forced when they are mixed in with Ben’s obsession with spying on his next door neighbours. And of course, there is the instance of the protagonist using a simple Google search to solve a supernatural mystery.

Although it had promise in the first few scenes, The Wretched is crushed under the weight of a myriad of horror-film clichés sprinkled throughout, which ultimately lead it to feel not only predictable, but also forgettable as it gets lost amongst the many better horrors that came before it. 


Available to watch on: VOD


CAST: John-Paul Howard, Jamison Jones, Piper Curda, Zarah Mahler, Kevin Bigley, Azie Tesfai, Blane Crockarell

DIRECTORS: Brett Pierce, Drew T. Pierce

WRITERS: Brett Pierce, Drew T. Pierce

SYNOPSIS: Rebellious teenager, Ben, while visiting his father for the summer, discovers something supernatural happening with his next door neighbour.