In a year where COVID-19 disrupted everything, major and minor movies alike saw limited theatrical releases or missed the cineplex altogether. One of those movies – The Wolf of Snow Hollow – proved to be one of the year’s hidden gems. United Artists gave the little horror comedy a limited theatrical release alongside its debut on VOD services. Though horror fans may have missed this one, critics overwhelmingly approved of indie filmmaker Jim Cummings’ treatment of the material. Werewolves haven’t enjoyed the same popularity as vampires or zombies. But alongside Werewolves Within and Wolf Cop, The Wolf of Snow Hollow hints that lycanthropes may go over better with a bit of dark humor.
In the small ski resort town of Snow Hollow, Utah, something is stalking and killing young women. Some people think its animal. Other townsfolk believe it’s a werewolf. Whomever – or whatever – is attacking Snow Hollow’s residents, it mauls its victims. But the hapless Snow Hollow police force, and recovering alcoholic Officer John Marshall, can’t buy a clue. As the pressure mounts, Marshall and his officers race to capture ‘The Wolf Man’ of Snow Hollow.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow Balances Quirky Humor and Monster Scares
Balancing horror and comedy is tricky. More often than not horror comedies veer into a silliness that appeals solely to B-movie fans. Here, writer and director Jim Cummings (The Beta Test) finds a perfect balance in what turns out to be a surprisingly good mystery. Specifically, The Wolf of Snow Hollow gets its horror elements right with a handful of good jumps and brisk pacing. Most importantly, Cummings understands that what we don’t see often – juxtaposed with dialogue – achieves a greater effect. And Cummings handles the movie’s ‘werewolf’ scenes in a way that never overextends his budget. Less is more, and The Wolf of Snow Hollow’s ‘wolf man’ makes the most of its limited screentime.
…The Wolf of Snow Hollow gets its horror elements right with a handful of good jumps and brisk pacing.
In addition, The Wolf of Snow Hollow nails its deadpan humor, That is, Cummings’ fictional Snow Hollow fills itself with quirky characters and offbeat humor. Whether it’s the inept police force or John Marshall’s clueless struggle to keep his composure under the small town’s scrutiny, The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a wry comedy that avoids silly pratfalls. There’s also a nice touch of subtly at play with Marshall’s personal demons haunting him just as much as the town’s ‘wolf man’. All of these positives are set against some impressive editing and beautiful cinematography.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow Mixes Excellent Performances with Dry Humor
If the Coen Brothers made a horror comedy, it might turn out a bit like The Wolf of Snow Hollow. From main characters to supporting ones to even bit parts, everyone feel delightfully offbeat. Despite his behind- the-camera duties, Cummings still delivers an excellent performance. He mixes a deadpan delivery that increasingly gives way to a pent-up rage. He’s an everyman slowly losing his grip on everything around him. But Riki Lindhome (The Last House on the Left) may be the movie’s MVP as ‘Officer Julia Robson’, the one competent police officer on the Snow Hollow force. Just her wry facial expressions alone offer ‘laugh out’ loud moments. Both performances give this horror comedy some heart to its horror and comedy.
From main characters to supporting ones to even bit parts, everyone feels delightfully offbeat.
In a key supporting role, the legendary Robert Forster (The Black Hole, Jackie Brown) gives a fun, surly final performance – he passed away in 2019 before the movie’s release. In a movie filled with quotable dialogue, Forster may get the best line when he muses, “I won’t ask you to pray with me because of the goddamn lawyers”. American Vandal and Life According to Jimmy star, Jimmy Tatro surprises in a small role that plays against expectations. Maybe the dialogue, however, it the movie’s biggest star. Cummings peppers his screenplay with several dry comments that all hit their mark.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow Another Werewolf Movie That Nails the Mix of Horror and Comedy
Everything about The Wolf of Snow Hollow works. This is a beautifully filmed movie that expertly balances its horror and humor. In addition to some decent scares, there’s a genuinely interesting horror mystery set next to quirky characters and fun dialogue. All of the performances are on point. Moreover, Cummings demonstrates some subtly in areas rather than hammer ideas into the ground. Ultimately, it’s too bad more horror fans didn’t get to enjoy it in theatres because this is one of the best werewolf movies in recent memory.