Didn't Scream at IT

The Crooked Man (2016)

It was six years ago when at a slumber party 12 year-old Olivia recited the words to a rhyme which legend has it summons up 'The Crooked Man'. And it was at that slumber party that one of Olivia's friends was mysteriously murdered with Olivia being blamed for her death. Having spent those intervening years in a psychiatric facility Olivia (Angelique Rivera) returns home. But her return coincides with a series of deaths with many speculating Olivia is to blame but she is convinced that it is 'The Crooked Man' returning to finish off the job of killing everyone who was in the house during that slumber party all those years earlier.

Do you know why back in 1996 "Scream" was such a hit? Of course there was the perfect blend of cast and writing but also because it delivered the sort of fun teen horror which had been missing from the cinema for some time. In a way "The Crooked Man" feels like it is trying to be the next generations "Scream", delivering the sort of boogey man horror fun reminiscent of the earlier "IT" but without being too deep, some thing which other recent boogey man horror movies have tended to be.

The thing about "The Crooked Man" is that whilst it ticks a lot of narrative boxes from having the rhyme which is suppose to summon up this boogey man to a handsome young cop trying to help the woman obsessed with this boogey man killer, it just doesn't quite click. And the trouble comes not so much because the writing lacks the self referential wit which made "Scream" fun but because the characters in this movie are as tick box as everything else yet we have no feeling for them. As such when it comes to who is going to die and how we really don't care, in fact you struggle to know what their names are.

What this all boils down to is that "The Crooked Man" knows what it wants to be, but ends up bringing nothing new to the game to make it stand out from what other horror movies have done. On top of that what it does do only ends up weak in comparison to other horror movies.

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