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Wolves at the Door, The


Stars: Katie Cassidy, Elizabeth Henstridge, Jane Kaczmarek, Adam Campbell, Eric Ladin, Miles Fisher, Spencer Daniels, Lucas Adams

Director: John Leonetti

Luckily for the careers of the unfortunate key players in this repellent slice of torture porn based on the slaughter of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four friends in Los Angeles during the ‘legendary’ Summer of Love in 1969, the opening credits omit their names (and those of the behind-the-camera ‘talents’), simply settling for the far-too-often-used declaration “BASED ON A TRUE STORY”.

So, given the unrelenting (and regrettably competently created) and frequently gratuitous unpleasantness that ensues, many cinemagoers may have already left the cinema and (in the US), justifiably have demanded their money back, thus missing the names of the (predominantly television performers) cast players and, even more important, without realizing that behind-the-camera ‘talents’, director Leonetti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman (together again after Annabelle), are to blame.

The central storyline finds Tate (played far better than the material deserves by Cassidy) along with heiress Henstridge, Campbell and Fisher coming back to their rented home in the Hollywood Hills after a night out only to be murdered (shown in sadistic detail) by four strangers at the behest of notorious Charles Manson…

Slick, professional filmmaking only serves to accentuate the inherent sadism of the narrative. Yes, there is inevitable suspense and several routine ‘make-you-jump’ tropes so beloved of the horror genre. That said, the final result is sick, rather than slick, creating a seedy exploitation shocker that is well worth paying to miss.

The line (admittedly taken out of context) “They’re crazy – crazy people do crazy things” all too painfully sums up the creative core of this unfortunate misfire.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour.
73 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 19 Mar 2017