Directed by: John R. Leonetti
Cast: Katie Cassidy, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adam Campbell
Just for those who may be unaware, Wolves at the door is about the infamous Manson Family Murders. Knowing that, you can bank on the fact that the story will crawl under your skin, and you can safely assume that – sadly – this one doesn’t end on a high note.
What I find startling by the production is how slowly, how measured, director John R. Leonetti approaches the content and fleshes out the characters. It’s Leonetti’s patience that I find quite valuable and a refreshing touch. The investment in the characters works as a nice touch and enables us to enjoy watching the evolution of each persona. Unfortunately, as the character examination really takes on new life, the film’s protagonists begin being knocked off with ease.
These victims are tortured, stabbed obsessively and ultimately left to die. That includes the rising star Sharon Tate. The murders themselves often to take place off-screen, but they’re shot in interesting manners that do enable you to see some of the graphic terror. For instance, you may see a murder unfold in the reflection of a television… which somehow makes it all the more unsettling.
Wolves at the Door has a strong group of performers to bring this harrowing tale to the screen. Katie Cassidy turns in one of her finest performances, and Elizabeth Henstridge doesn’t leave much room to be outshined. The truth is, the ensemble as a whole is mighty impressive, even if you know well in advance that they’re going to break our hearts… due to some manipulated, sadistic, twisted puppets of that vile son-of-a-bitch, Charles Manson.
Don’t expect to shed a ton of tears while you’re scoping the film. It’s terribly sad, but it isn’t the kind of pic that opens the floodgates. The sadness this one invokes is an ancient one, one that makes you hang your head, shake it ever so slowly and think, this can’t be real life.
It was real life, just like this movie is a real slice of stimulating terror. Whether you’re extremely familiar with Manson’s story or not, Wolves at the Door is a very grim but entertaining piece of work that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys home invasion or stalker films.