There’s nothing worse than seeing a name in the opening credits that instantly tells you the quality of the film you’re about to watch, with THEY WAIT that name was the infamous Uwe Boll. This would mark Dr. Boll’s first film as an executive producer allowing someone else to direct the film, which still gave me a little hope. Furthermore, director Ernie Barbarash really impressed me with CUBE: ZERO leaving me to believe there could be something special hiding in THEY WAIT. I was wrong.
In the film a young mother (Jaime King) and her six-year-old son come face to face with the mysteries of two murders and a great crime against the Chinese community into which they have recently arrived from Shanghai.
Basically what you get in THEY WAIT is nothing more than a poor man’s version of THE GRUDGE. It’s a fish out of water tale about an American mother with an Asian son and husband, stuck in a world she doesn’t understand. It’s incredibly obvious throughout the entire film that they are NOT in Shanghai. It looks like the streets of Toronto or Vancouver or even downtown Los Angeles. It tried to bring all sorts of creepy elements to the table but it only made the film more laughable.
Even worse were the cheap scare tactics and cliché screenplay that had us chuckling through the entire feature. It was as if writers Doug Taylor, Carl Bessai and Trevor Markwart watched every Asian horror film, wrote down their favorite moments and found ways to jam every single one of them into the same script. One small prop comes from a scare early in the film where the audience is completely fooled by the first ghost, which had me jumping out of my seat. Unfortunately the entire moment was ruined by horrendous CG effects as the ghost looked like a spooky, hand-drawn cartoon character.
And don’t even get me started with how the film ENDS, literally Jamie King’s character asks the suffering ghosts to stop, save her child and leave them all alone, to which they imply the answer was “OK, sure why not?”
THEY WAIT is a dubious film as it pretends to be something it isn’t… or maybe it’s more that it attempts to be something it wishes it could be. If you’re one of those people that live in a routine world, maybe you’re into routine horror? If so, THEY WAIT will be everything you imagine it would be. Bland.