Cry Wolf

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"Cry Wolf" is an imaginary thriller because whatever thrills and mystery it may possess depend on the director hiding so many meaningful facts that the end of the movie requires a fifteen minute flashback sequence to cover them all.

"Cry Wolf" is kind of like "The Usual Suspects" for spoiled teenagers. The film takes place in a prep school and involves a game between friends. Owen (Julian Morris) is the new kid at school. He meets Dodger (Lindy Booth), starts drooling like the testosterone-addled boy that he is, and follows her to his first game meeting.

To make an uninteresting concept very short, the game involves a lot of lying. When the friends decide that the game would be really great if it involved the whole school, Owen makes up a rumor of a serial killer named The Wolf based on details of the recent murder of a female student. He sends out a school-wide e-mail and lets word-of-mouth do the rest.

Lo and behold, it appears as though Owen's creation, orange ski mask and all, emerges from the collective imagination of the students. Of course, the minor detail of a game predicated on lying also seeps into the various explanations of people disappearing and eventually, murder. Is there an actual serial killer or is it all a hoax?

Like most movies of this type that think they're being clever, "Cry Wolf" is an imaginary thriller because whatever thrills and mystery it may possess depend on the director hiding so many meaningful facts that the end of the movie requires a fifteen minute flashback sequence to cover them all. The central hipness to "Cry Wolf" appears to be a few literary references and a complete commitment to the integration of new technology in place of dialogue. Thus, the kids e-mail, IM, and use their cell phones to death. It's fairly clear that such use is a lot better for product placement than it is for the thriller genre.

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