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Spotlight - The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)

Our "Spotlight" blogs focus on shedding light on films that often don't receive the recognition they deserve. We choose unique, intriguing movies that we feel may have been overshadowed by big-budget productions. Our first spotlight is on the feature film The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) directed by Jim Cummings.

This film is a beautiful cross-genre feature that, despite exploring themes of grief, parenthood, and severe anxiety, never loses sight of its core: a werewolf on the loose!

One of the reasons why I love this film is because I have great admiration for Jim Cummings's career. After graduating from university he was initially uninspired by his future as a director so he focused on producing. But, thankfully, he eventually ignored his negative mindset and started creating low-budget short films. His short film Thunder Road, a 12-minute single-take film, was so successful it was developed into a full-length feature. He has progressively worked with budgets, starting as small as $2,000, then up to $200,000, and in time reaching the budget of $2,000,000 for this movie. However, no matter the budget, there is a distinctive DIY feel to everything he creates, and a sense of genuine passion from both Cummings and his team can clearly be seen on the screen.

But let's talk more about this wonderful film!

Jim Cummings plays; John Marshall, an alcoholic police officer who is struggling with raising his teenage daughter, caring for his ill father and trying to solve a string of moonlit murders in his town and it's members are convinced that Werewolves are to blame! Now that's a mouthful but it's also my kind of movie!

His character has some serious responsibility weighing on him, but Jim Cummings does a fantastic job of portraying it all with a superb and authentic performance. The film can also be unbelievably stressful at times (not dissimilar to the masterpiece that is Uncut Gems 2019) and there are some scenes when you are just relieved you aren't in his shoes. Most of the time he seems to be fighting a losing battle on all fronts which is as hard to watch as it is entertaining. But despite these emotionally heavy aspects, the film manages to remain awkwardly funny! The surreal situations and well-thought-out supporting characters immerse you into its dark and humourous world, which I can't get enough of.

Cummings isn't the only one delivering a great on-screen performance. The film's success is also thanks to the performances of Riki Lindhome, Robert Forster, Jimmy Tatro and Chloe East who plays his daughter.

In an interview about his short film Thunder Road, he said he "wanted to hide the genre from the audience", and there is still a little bit of that sentiment in this film. The killings are epic and scary, the hunt for the monster is intriguing and mysterious, and the relationships between characters are genuine and engrossing.

I implore you to watch this film. There is something to enjoy for every kind of cinephile, not just us horror lovers! So please check it out. You can find it available to rent or buy on all digital streaming platforms.

Thanks for reading! I rated this film 4.5/5 on Letterboxd. Let us know of films you think should be given a bit more of the spotlight in the comments below.

His Short film, Thunder Road:


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