Director: Richard Poche
Writer: Aaron Pope
Producer: Errol Poche
Cast: Liz DiPrinzio, Erika Smith, Taya Asimos
Year of release: 2006
Reviewed from: screener DVD
The Wanderer is a nicely produced, twenty-minute ghost film from Richard Poche (Oracle, The Wicked, A Candle in the Dark) with a simple premise bolstered by some stylish photography.
Gina (Taya Asimos) and Lucy (Liz DiPrinzio) are on the way back from the funeral of Sarah, cousin of the former, best friend of the latter. Sarah can’t have been terribly popular, despite appearing in flashbacks as a very pretty, happy young woman, because there are only three people at the graveside: Lucy, Gina and a young priest, Father O’Neal (Cliff Poche).
As has often been pointed out, the central premise of the relationship in Superman films and comics is that Lois Lane can’t recognise her boyfriend without his glasses. Similarly, Gina and Lucy can’t recognise Sarah with her hair hanging over her face, even though the audience can. This is the main structural problem with The Wanderer: the audience is immediately distracted by wondering whether we are supposed to know this is Sarah or not, even though it very obviously is. Maybe Gina and Lucy don’t know that, because they don’t know they’re in a horror film (although you expect one of them to say “Jesus, I thought that was Sarah for a moment.”). But we know we’re watching a horror film and we know the conventions, so it feels like there’s a twist coming up that we already know.
Nevertheless, The Wanderer is an effective supernatural chiller with a professional sheen to it that any horror fan will enjoy.
MJS rating: B+