The Wolf of Snow Hollow came out in 2020 (I know I’m late, don’t @ me). It is a comedy / horror / drama directed and written by up-and-coming filmmaker Jim Cummings. The film is about murders in a small town that may or may not be by a werewolf. It is not what I expected in the slightest. I have seen his debut, Thunder Road, and loved it. Thunder Road took over the indie film scene and launched Cummings into the spotlight. As a result, I thought his style and stories would be affected but they are most certainly not, let me explain:
Style, style, style
Cummings has such a unique (you guessed it) style. Going into this film, I had a pretty clear idea the tone and plot it would go for. I was so wrong. The Wolf of Snow Hollow barely dives into the Wolf. It jumps between genres, styles and pacing with no care for what your film schoolteacher told you. It has this chaotic energy that once you settle into is kind of addicting. At one point I verbally said to my self “what the fuck is happening?” But while I said this, I had the fattest smile on my face you have ever seen.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow reminds me a lot of An American Werewolf in London. Oddly enough, not for the Wolf. Instead, it is for the world building. Both movies have these very interesting and unique settings. The characters and environment is so engaging because its not afraid to simply feel like a movie. Essentially, both films don’t strive for realism. They understand the absurdity of the concepts and heavily lean into them. As a result, the audience is more inclined to accept how batshit crazy these worlds are.
I think a big problem with indie filmmaking is finding talented actors. Not necessarily because of the budget but simply the resources to find people who suit the part. No one in this film is terrible (I genuinely mean that). It’s just that some of the actors don’t really suit the parts. In particular, Robert Foster and Jimmy Tatro. These two are very very good actors. BUT they are kind of built for a specific part. Jimmy for the jock / idiot guy and Robert for a moody / grumpy old man. Now these characters are similar to that but just slightly off. I hate typecasting but it just felt like a weird decision by Cummings. Maybe he wanted to subvert expectations.
Scary or Funny?
The Wolf of Snow Hollow jumps constantly between horror, comedy, and drama. However, it doesn’t really dive into any of these for too long. Essentially, Cummings clearly doesn’t want this to just be one genre of filmmaking. I think this is something that applies to all of his work, and we will see a lot more of as he grows in Hollywood. While this style of writing is not necessarily for me, it is appealing to watch as you are constantly kept on your toes and there is never a dull moment.
The Ending (Spoilers)
Spoilers!! The ending of this film was interesting. It did get me, and I didn’t expect it, but didn’t really feel satisfying. I think this is because there wasn’t enough clues for it or honestly focus on the plot. If this was a dark crime thriller where there’s two detectives searching for a killer who could be a werewolf, this ending would bang. But since this film doesn’t focus much on the crime aspect, it just feels a little underwhelming.
Ultimately, every little complaint I had is simply a consequence of someone with a very specific creative vision. I have so much respect for Jim Cummings because he doesn’t give a fuck what modern audiences, critics, or the box office think. He simply sticks to his path and ignores the rest. Thereby, there is going to be things I don’t enjoy or a lot of audiences like. But I would rather see a real vision that is refreshing than another Hollywood remake.
Should you watch it??
Yes definitely. Just go in expecting something very different and you wont be disappointed.