The Way Of The Wicked is the film version of a dead-end. At first glance it offers some promise as it’s a story about a satanic, teenage boy who has telekinetic powers. But it’s not long before the proceedings go from haunting to staid and the drama becomes predictable and forgettable.

The story begins with Robbie (Ryan Grantham) who is bullied by two other kids. The trio have a confrontation which results in one of the thugs dying in mysterious circumstances. This prompts a creepy local priest (Christian Slater who appears in the film for little more than 10 minutes) to question whether Robbie is the devil incarnate. These accusations prompt Robbie’s family to leave their small hometown.

Five years pass and Robbie (now played by Jake Croker) returns to the community where he meets up with his former friend, Heather (Emily Tennant) who is now a very pretty and popular young lady. Robbie had had a crush on Heather when he was younger and he moves to rekindle their friendship. This is much to the ire of Heather’s boyfriend – an obnoxious jock named Greg (Aren Buchholz) – and Heather’s father, a local detective named John Elliot (Vinnie Jones utilising his London accent, which seems out of place in this small, American town). Greg has a series of accidents before dying due to mysterious circumstances, prompting people to square the blame at Robbie.

In Way Of The Wicked, director, Kevin Carraway takes his inspiration from Carrie and The Omen. But this film is nothing but a painful homage or slice of second-rate dredge when compared to these horror classics. Here, a disturbed teenager is at the forefront of some strange events and appears to have supernatural powers, but the similarities between the three end here.

The script by Matthew Robert Kelly is nothing short of lacklustre with awkward and implausible lines (like a father calling his teenage daughter, “Babe”). There are also lots of odd situations stitched together (like a now defrocked priest keeping watch on the teens from various bushes and shadows). The performances are variable with some of the actors flitting between over-the-top deliveries and melodrama (see: Jones and Tennant) while others are completely wooden and monotonous (see: Crocker).

In all, Way Of The Wicked is a weak, paranormal, teen romance that is about as suspenseful as a lukewarm cup of tea. The characters are not particularly engaging and the plot suffers from being overly simplistic. Even a supposed twist could be seen by anyone with half a brain from a mile off. In sum, this Z-grade film is lacking in positive qualities and is ultimately just another throwaway teen flick.


Originally published on 16 November 2014 at the following website: http://iris.theaureview.com/2014/11/16/dvd-review-way-of-the-wicked-usa-canada-2014/

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