Wednesday, November 23, 2022
MARIAH's THOUGHTS on Wendell & Wild (2022)
October 28, 2022
1 hour 46 minutes
Henry Selick, Jordan Peele
Based on the book by:
Clay McLeod Chapman
Lyric Ross, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Angela Bassett, James Hong, Sam Zelaya, Tamara Smart, Seema Virdi, Ramona Young, Ving Rhames
Two scheming demon brothers, Wendell and Wild, enlist the aid of 13-year-old Kat Elliot to summon them to the Land of the Living.
Wendell & Wild is a film that deals with loss, grief, and healing with bits of comedy thrown in. The characters are people of color in a bankrupt town that is threatened by a big money company and it all seamlessly blends in a fun and spooky themed film. The main character is Kat Elliot, a teenager who had lost her parents in a car accident when she was a child. After spending years in foster care and juvenile detention, she is brought back to her hometown where the car accident happened to attend an all-girl Catholic school. While attending the school, demons Wendell and Wild visit Kat in her dreams and convince her to summon them from the underworld so that they can create the amusement park of their dreams and away from their controlling father. Meanwhile, Kat’s hometown is on the verge of collapse as the private prison company called Klax Korp threatens to bulldoze the entire town and all its residential homes. To fight off her demons and Klax Korp, Kat must come to terms with her parents’ deaths and learn to accept the help that her new friends offer.
Wendell & Wild covers plenty of coming-of-age and acceptance motifs as Kat learns to move on from her parents’ deaths and accept that the accident wasn’t her fault, but the film all comes together with the help of Kat’s new friends. At first, Kat is incredibly withdrawn and standoffish to keep others safe from herself, such as her new friend Raul and Sister Helley, but they refuse to let Kat deal with her demons alone. Raul is a rather shy and artistic boy with a big heart and Sister Helley is a strong-willed woman who cares for her students and understands how Kat feels. Raul and Helley often act as the voice of reason when Kat is negotiating with the demon brothers who promise to bring her parents back to life and stops her from contracting with them. It is with their help and persistence that Kat also faces Klax Korp.
With heavy topics on the surface, Wendell & Wild doesn’t forget to take a break. It is the horror and comedy film that we deserve with a good balance. This world accepts zombies and demons almost as if they were a daily sight. Klax Korp forces the demon brothers to resuscitate long dead town council members that would vote in favor of their private prison and the destruction of Kat’s hometown. No one alive bats an eyelash at the fact there are dead bodies walking around or a goat roaming freely everywhere. Every factor in Wendell & Wild is an accepted part of their world without being over the top.