02nd Sep2014

‘Way of the Wicked’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Christian Slater, Vinnie Jones, Jake Croker, Emily Tennant, Aren Buchholz, Matthew Robert Kelly, Brittney Wilson, Jedidiah Goodacre, Jillian Fargey, Chris Shields, Anna Galvin, Sydney Waack, Ryan Grantham | Written by Matthew Robert Kelly | Directed by Kevin Carraway

way-of-the-wicked

Sometimes you see actors turn up in movies and you just know what to expect.  I find though that to be fair to the film I look to be pleasantly surprised, and sometimes I even am…but this tends to be rare.  Way of the Wicked stars Christian Slater and Vinnie Jones and for fans of bad movies I don’t really need to say much more than that do I?

When Robbie (Jake Croker) returns to the town where he was once implicated in the death of a classmate it’s not long before another student dies.  Detective John Elliot (Vinnie Jones) begins to suspect Robbie as being to blame, especially when his daughter Heather (Emily Tennant) starts to get too close to the boy.  With the help of Father Henry (Christian Slater) who warns Elliot about the boys supernatural powers he works to discover just what the truth is about Robbie and the demonic forces that seem to surround him.

Straight away it’s obvious that Way of the Wicked is looking to tap into the fan base of Twilight, but add an Omen twist to things.  The idea is has a solid base and is even being turned into a Bates Hotel type series too.  The problem is the audience have to buy into the concept of a demonic teenager if it’s going to work.  This is down to the script to create that belief.  The foundations for this are all put in place as we have the loner Robbie, the love interest in Heather, the popular kids who include Heather’s abusive boyfriend to cause friction and be cannon fodder and of course Vinnie Jones and Christian Slater to be the slightly shouty and menacing adults of the piece.

The problem with Way of the Wicked is that it struggles to actually deliver on the foundations that it sets.  When it comes to the actual demonic powers not much happens, there is more of a focus on pushing the fact that Robbie is the loner, even to creepy levels at times.  The popular kids see him as a freak, the adults see him as a demon child…so of course Heather must fall for him.  From the annoying popular kids who try to look all dominant but have the intimidation factor of fluffy teddy bears to the priest who just comes across as a nut job things start to get annoying.  Everything that we see is like a horror by numbers attempt at a Twilight rip off, which shouldn’t really be that hard to pull off if done right.

When it comes to Vinnie Jones his role to play is the grumpy over drinking cop and to be fair to him he plays the part well and delivers on what is expected of him, as does Christian Slater.  The problem for them really is the script just doesn’t deliver what is needed to make the movie have any impact.  Sure, we fully understand what we are meant to be seeing and it is easy to see who the actual demon child is.  The problem is the delivery of the story is just a little too weak for the film to have any real bite.  Jones spends his time yelling at his daughter, calling Slater a nut job and threatening Robbie thuggishly anytime the boy goes anywhere near his daughter…and that is about it.

Way of the Wicked is watchable and to be fair the acting isn’t that bad, it’s just let down by a weak script that never delivers on the impact it tries to provide.  If you are going to try to create a film that harkens back to the likes of The Omen the psychological side of things should be paramount, but with a focus more on trying to create a Twilight-like romance the psychological side appears to be none existent.  Way of the Wicked fails on the very fact that it never delivers any psychological impact at all.  In its defence though, if I was looking for something to watch on late night television when there was nothing else on? Way of the Wicked wouldn’t be a complete waste of time.

*** 3/5

Way of the Wicked is available on DVD now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek 
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