Every horror/slasher movie these days needs a twist. Each subsequent one ups the ante by adding additional twists. Most are wholly unoriginal, and what filmmakers do not realize is that the same people watch these movies (i.e. young men). So for anybody who has seen a few of these movies, Cry_Wolf is an exercise in repetition. It tries to be original by adding twist upon twist, but sadly enough, all of them are easy to predict. The movie probably goes one twist too far; as the final one makes the entire film look stupid. However, sadly enough, it's easy to figure out what this final twist will be by the middle of the film.

Owen (Julian Morris, Whirlygirl, Spin) is the new guy at Westlake Prep, a prestigious boarding school. He was kicked out of his last school, and wants to make sure things do not go wrong again. His determination is pretty weak, since he goes all gaga after meeting resident rich girl/troublemaker Dodger (Lindy Booth, Dawn of the Dead, Bollywood/Hollywood), who resides at the top of the high school pecking order with her diverse group of friends. There's a jock (Jared Padalecki, House of Wax, Flight of the Phoenix), an Asian nerd (Kristy Wu, Face, What's Cooking?), black guy (Paul James), Hispanic girl (Sandra McCoy, A Cinderella Story, Down with Love), and punk guy (Jesse Janzen) - in other words, he has piercings. Heck, Jon Bon Jovi (John Carpenter's Vampires, Pay It Forward) even teaches journalism at Westlake. What's not to love?

Everybody knows that the rich are idle. Dodger and friends play a game where one person is designated "the wolf." Everybody else tries to figure out who this person is, while "the wolf" tries to deflect suspicion by trying to finger other people. Owen wins easily, insulting most of Dodger's friends in the process. They decide to take the game to the next level. They play a game with the entire school, not letting the school know that the game is happening. A young girl was recently murdered in the nearby woods. The kids forward a mass e-mail about "the Wolf," a fake mass murderer. He wears a camouflage jacket, orange knit cap, and carries a huge hunting knife. The recent murder appears to fit his modus operandi, so the entire school begins to fear that he may strike again.

Things move pretty efficiently. Director Jeff Wadlow (Catching Kringle, Manual Labor), who co-wrote the screenplay with Beau Bauman (The Tower of Babble) doing everything that's expected of them. Gruesome murders happen one after another, and Booth walks around in short Catholic schoolgirl skirts. Owen does all the things that only stupid teenagers in movies do. Strange things keep happening, and all the kids are blissfully oblivious. Or are they? Owen really thinks something is wrong when the fake predictions in his e-mail begin coming true. Cry_Wolf doesn't have an original line in its script, but it does move things quickly, and is thankfully short. So it ends before anybody can really think about it.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 30 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, disturbing images, language, sexuality, and a brief drug reference.

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