I’ll be brutally honest – when an unexpected review disc pops up on your desk, purporting to be a supernatural horror-thriller starring the unlikely team-up of Vinnie Jones and Christian Slater, expectations are very low.

And that is exactly where Way Of The Wicked belongs – a film that does very little outlandishly wrong, but offers absolutely zilch in the way of originality or thrills either.

Jones plays John Elliott, a cop father recovering from the shock of his wife dying in a car accident.

John has a teenage daughter, Heather (Emily Tennant), who makes matters worse for the family when she gets mixed up with surly school companion Robbie (Jake Croker), who five years earlier was involved in the mysterious death of a classmate.

Naturally father is not that impressed by his daughter’s dalliance with the school’s mystery boy, a feeling that is only exacerbated when Father Henry (Slater) arrives, babbling about demons and the like and convinced that Robbie is a very, very bad person.

But with Robbie all too aware of the people on his tail, just who will come out on top in this battle of wills?

That’s about it plot-wise, with Way Of The Wicked being a mish-mash of much, much better films, with the likes of Carrie, The Omen etc all receiving a nod.

In fact, director Kevin Carraway doesn’t even bother to hide these homages, with Jones at one point barking at Father Henry ‘You’re saying he’s one of those ‘Omen’ kids?’

Jones labours through emotional scenes but provides a decent anchor, while Slater’s screen time probably adds up to little more than five minutes, despite his billing.

Tennant emerges with some credit, while Croker has little to do other than stare moodily or angrily at people.

Plainly shot on the cheap (one scene early on clearly features a stand-in masquerading as Slater’s character), the film fails to deliver on the effects front – one splashy death by farm machinery doing little to entertain.

As stated at the outset, Way Of The Wicked is not a particularly bad film, and I happily sat through the 90-minute running time without my finger once hovering over the ‘stop’ button.

But any horror-savvy viewer will have seen this story played out many, many times before – with a lot better quality.

 

VERDICT: [rating=2]

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.