The poignant and quietly-praised Thunder Road displayed the immense talent of a new up and coming filmmaker, and the Wolf of Snow Hollow proves actor/writer/director Jim Cummings no different. Like Thunder Road, The Wolf of Snow Hollow follows a stressed-out police officer, this time named John Marshall (Cummings), juggling his job and family, but instead of a maternal death, the mangled bodies of women that show up after a full moon haunts this officer’s mind. Falling deeper into his work and alcohol addiction, Officer Marshall further struggles to remind himself that werewolves don’t exist. In time for the Halloween season, this darkly comedic horror gem had its small release on Oct. 9.
Like the town it’s set in, The Wolf of Snow Hollow is small; neither grand in scale nor length, but it is compellingly compacted. The key to this success is in the comedy, of which there is significantly more of than the horror aspects. It is hilarious, and it maintains that hilariousness throughout the entire runtime. “Maintains” almost feels wrong to use because this movie does a lot more than just maintain the audience’s attention. It seizes it, and with its almost chaotically fast pace, it tumbles through the narrative with engrossing ease. Darkly funny comedic writing, but almost a majority of the comedy itself comes from the tour de force that is Cummings’ performance as the lead. He is almost unhinged in the role, and has a fiery charm that holds investment even through some of his character’s terrible life choices. Forster (RIP) and Lindhome make a memorable supporting cast despite not having much to do. Except for the opening scene, the camera is on Cummings for a large majority of the runtime. The self-destructive downfall of his singular officer is the core focus anyways, and a wild ride that is. The ending was just awesome.
Definitely more in the vein of dark comedy than horror, and while there is a bit of gore and atmospheric tension, recommending this to horror fans just seems wrong. This is an incredibly entertaining dark comedy with a magnificent performance at the center of it, but even then, it is hard to imagine sitting through this one without cracking a smile. It’s a movie just about anybody would enjoy, assumedly so. I’m giving The Wolf of Snow Hollow a 9/10.