Published October 24. 2013 4:00AM
Most folks would agree that, in the shadows of Stephen King's immortal "Pet Sematary" and W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw," no sane writer would attempt any artistic rendering of another "dead child resurrected" story. But I'm here to strongly recommend, for your Halloween viewing, a 2008 film called "Wake Wood." After 11-year-old Alice is killed in a vicious dog attack, her parents, Louise and Patrick, move to a rural and seemingly idllyic Irish village. But the town's population has a distictive pagan flair - including a civic partriarch who can oversee an ancient ritual that will enable Alice to return from the grave for three days. The idea is to provide closure for the family and enable them to say proper goodbyes. Naturally, Louise and Patrick aren't remotely inclined to let Alice return to the grave - and, boy, the pastoral deities who oversee such things don't take their efforts kindly. Beautifully photographed and wonderfully creepy, the sheer mood and weight overcomes some plot flaws. And check out the ritual itself. Wild!
- RICK KOSTER