Time: 83 Minutes
Jim Cummings as Officer John Marshall
Riki Lindhome as Officer Julia Robson
Chloe East as Jenna Marshall
Jimmy Tatro as PJ Palfrey
Robert Forster as Sheriff Hadley
Director: Jim Cummings
A stressed-out police officer (Jim Cummings) struggles not to give in to the paranoia that grips his small mountain town as bodies turn up after each full moon.
Jim Cummings wrote, directed and starred in Thunder Road, which was one of the biggest surprises of 2018. It was independent, smaller scale, heartfelt yet really funny, well made, and the lead performance was great. The Wolf of Snow Hollow was his next movie, so naturally I was interested in checking it out. This time it was something of a horror movie and involved werewolves, I really didn’t know what to expect. All in all, while I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Thunder Road, I thought it was pretty good.
The script was written by Jim Cummings again, and it does feel like the same person who made Thunder Road. It dabbles in comedy, drama, and with this movie now horror. The movie is very much focused with the lead character, much like Thunder Road. Despite the horror aspect, it doesn’t stem too far from that first movie. Both are dark drama comedies, with flawed main characters who are a police officers, have strained relationship with their daughters and are going through a lot (and are also both played by Jim Cummings). The comedy doesn’t hit as strong as in Thunder Road I felt, but the movie was very energetic and kept me constantly paying attention to what was happening. The main characters are well written and feel human. Overall, I will say that I feel like Thunder Road is more complete and better as a movie. I was paying attention to the main murder mystery, but it wasn’t the most interesting. The twists and turns weren’t anything special, and the reveals weren’t particularly clever. There’s also not really any tension throughout, even during the werewolf attack scenes. There was also one implausible aspect of the climax which took me out of it a bit but that was a slight nit-pick. Something worth noting is that this movie is 83 minutes long, which is even shorter than Thunder Road at 90 minutes. It really does feel like the movie would’ve been better if it was longer so that more would happen and some characters and storylines were expanded on a lot more, it certainly had room for that with a larger scale story and movie.
Of the cast, of course it’s Jim Cummings who stands out in the lead role, his performance is great. His character is pretty unlikable at many points, yet he’s still watchable throughout the movie. His character is a bit like his character in Thunder Road, and like that movie he effectively showed all the pressure that he’s under and covers both comedy and drama. His line delivery was perfect, and Cummings has to be one of the best actors I’ve seen at playing breakdowns, crying, yelling and meltdowns. The rest of the performances range from alright to good. Riki Lindhome plays another police officer on the werewolf case, and Robert Forster plays Cummings’s father is in his final performance here.
Jim Cummings directs this movie quite well. You immediately can tell that this movie is on a larger scale compared to his last movie. Thunder Road was made with a budget of $200,000, whereas The Wolf of Snow Hollow was made with $2 million. They took advantage of that money quite well, the very snowy setting works effectively and you really feel like you’re out there. This allows for some great snowy cinematography. Sometimes the lighting during the night time sequences looked a bit off though, I’m not sure why though. There are gory parts to the movie during the murder scenes but as said before, the tension and horror aspect wasn’t all that handled the best, it’s not bad but could’ve been a lot better.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is well made, darkly comedic dramedy and horror mystery film, featuring another great lead performance and direction from Jim Cummings. It’s not quite as great as his last movie and there were definitely some parts that could’ve been improved on, but it’s still quite good. If you like Thunder Road, I think it is well worth checking this one out. I’m definitely looking forward to what Jim Cummings does next.