Wyvern (TV Movie 2009) Poster

(2009 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
29 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Northern Exposure meets...dragons?
kynoceph1 February 2009
As Sci-Fi Channel B-movies go, this is a good one. It is neatly paced and doesn't drag, and the characters, although clichéd, are well-played and likable. The basic premise is that a very small, remote town in Alaska is terrorized by the appearance of a wyvern (a non-fire-breathing dragon, for those who care).

Don S. Davis appears in one of his last roles as the Colonel, a machine-gun toting, beer-sipping retired military man whose warnings that there's something weird in the woods aren't believed until it's too late. Cowboy Hall of Fame character actor Barry Corbin also appears as Haas, a redneck who comes face to face with the title creature early on.

Nick Chinlund, as the truck-driving hero Jake, is adequately rugged and resourceful, but the real charmer here is Erin Karpluk as the gutsy waitress Claire. She is captivating, no-nonsense, and naturally pretty, and brings an otherwise mundane role to sparkling life.

"Wyvern" also makes many sly references to the TV show "Northern Exposure." Casting Elaine Miles ("Marilyn Whirlwind" in Northern Exposure) in the role of a sheriff's deputy is a sure tip-off. Ms. Miles remains laconically funny as ever. The presence of the character of a doctor who is from out of town is another tip of the hat.

"Wyvern" is definitely a B-movie, no doubt. However, it's much more tightly paced and entertaining than your usual Sci-Fi TV feature. The cast also brings a sense of realism and believability by their refusal to overact. The wyvern itself, although computer generated, is decently done, and its appearance is carefully timed for maximum impact. You could find worse ways to waste your time than this movie. And keep an eye on Erin Karpluk; given the right roles she could emerge as an actor to reckon with.
42 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Exceptional Effort for the Sci Fi Channel
gray1937-12 February 2009
This flick is a clear six (6) as a general rating, and a 10 as far as movies made for the Sci Fi Channel go. It has a substantive cast including: a recognizable good guy (Nick Chinlund who often plays a detective); two really good old guys (Barry Corbin is an ace and the late Don Davis is well known as the general from the Stargate series); and two attractive young women (both Canadian I believe) including the very pretty Tinsel Korey who seems to be Native American. The CGI created monster is extremely well done. The plot has no spurious countdown timer to artificially bolster tension; no excessively stupid acts by the cast to increase it, letting the evil creature doing evil things create the necessary pulse pounding; heroic deeds by the protagonists; and a reasonably realistic terminal event. On the downside, I'm not sure that "the land of the midnight sun" is all that green and snow-free, and the solstice should come in the middle of the daylight period, not at the end as the script implies. However, this was really quite well done, and acceptably enjoyable as these things go.

My research shows, however, that the Wyvern is a wholly British beastie, and Corbin's character's description of it as Norse seems unnecessarily manufactured for the cinema.
26 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not bad for a SciFi network movie
unicornpeg20031 February 2009
This film is about an Alaskan town just entering a solstice when a giant Norwegian dragon awakens from its slumber to attack the townspeople. I'm sure that I'm one of many SciFi fans who have become increasingly disappointed with original SciFi movies. Wyvern is actually pretty decent. The acting is fair and the dialog is amusing. The good thing is that they mean for the dialog to be amusing. I found myself chuckling a few times because the characters are unusual and just a bit peculiar. Don't get me wrong, the special effects are a bit cheesy but I have seen much, much worse (Sharks in Venice anyone?). The cinematography is actually quite good. I give this a 6 out of 10 because the actors really gave good performances.
29 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wyvern: It fulfilled some expectations I have of the Sci-Fi Channel, and yet it managed to surprise me in a good way.
brusimm1 February 2009
WYVERN on the Sci-Fi Channel, by Bruce Simmons from Cinema Static:

Saturday night Sci-Fi movies tend to have quick deaths in the beginning, cheesy over the board acting, miserable stories and sad effects. But it is Saturday night and camp can be fun.

WYVERN did meet some expectations and yet I was also surprised by it.

Wyvern delivered the first death within 2 minutes of the movie opening.

It actually had a story that developed decent progression, fair background and typical developments that kept the plot in a decent progression.

Yet Nick Chinlund delivers a decent role as Jake, as he delivers validity to the cast. You might remember him from "The Chronicles of Riddick" as Toombs, the ill-fated bounty hunter.

Then there's Erin Karpluk, (Claire) Barry Corbin (Haas) and Don S. Davis of Stargate fame, as the doofy brained Colonel.

Don Davis (RIP) shows the depth of his talent. He isn't the main character, but one of a few secondary roles. No, it's not a mind boggling, soul wrenching role he delivers. Instead, he delivers a seemingly half-brained doof of a character. One we would actually expect from a Saturday night Sci-Fi movie. He delivers superbly in that fashion and I mean it. After watching him for many years on Stargate, this was a great variation of character. I found him fun to watch, knowing he was striving for this affect. I wish a heart attack didn't take him from us last July,('08) but it is what it is.

On top of all this, Sci-Fi is not known for delivering fantastic effects but the dragon was pretty decent.

In all, maybe it's because I've come to expect less then nothing from these movies that this one seemed so much better than most.

It was a fun 2 hours for TV for me for once. Thanks Sci-Fi for the surprise. Really! I didn't want to give this flick a 5. It was much better than that and I feel my "6" is a very strong "6".

How does it all end after the Wyvern goes nuts eating everyone? Well, that would be a spoiler that I won't give away. It's not a bad resolution. That's all I'll say!
43 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not bad at all!
FiendishDramaturgy22 February 2009
This is far superior to what I have come to expect from the Sci Fi Channel Originals. The Wyvern is fabulous, and the dialog is actually quite realistic. This is superb as far as the Sci Fi Channel movies go, and if this is what we can expect this next generation of SFOs to be like, this should be an enjoyable decade of M4TV Creature Features. Also, it was nice to see Elaine Miles (Northern Exposure) again. She always was one of my favorites.

This film is a real surprise in the actual film quality, sure, but more so in the quality of performances, dialog, screenplay, and actual plot...but what surprises me most (as if that weren't enough) is the CGI of the Wyvern. WOW! The CGI was good for anyone, but especially for the Sci Fi Channel. The Lord of the rings this isn't, but for a Sci Fi Original movie, this isn't bad at all.

It rates a 8.8/10 on the Made For TV Scale.

It rates a 7.4/.10 on the Movie Scale from...

the Fiend :.
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A good old-fashioned monster flick
fung025 September 2009
If you like this *type* of film, you can't help liking Wyvern. It's got all the required bits: mysterious, deadly creature; feisty heroine; brick-jawed hero; and an assortment of quirky characters to serve as monster-chow.

But where so many similar films miss the mark, Wyvern manages that perfect balance of characterization, storyline and gory thrills. It's all in the writing: the tightly-constrained situation feels real, even when it's clearly preposterous. And the people react in credible ways, the way *we* would probably react, under similarly unlikely circumstances. Several characters even manage to surprise us by rising far above the clichéd responses we're expecting.

True, this is clearly a low-budget effort, and the special effects are fairly tame by today's standards. But the CG creature is plenty real enough, especially the way it's shown in very believable small-town settings.

Wyvern isn't going to win over anyone looking for a light romantic comedy. But if your taste runs to gleefully gruesome survivalist adventure, you're in for a bone-chomping good time.
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I Want to See It AGAIN
peerlessinid4 July 2009
This is a terrific creature feature!!! It had nearly every cliché in the book and that made it even better. The cast did a very good job without ever lapsing into complete corniness. The computer graphics were well done without being over done. There was even humor. It reminded me of Saturday afternoons when I was a kid. I actually had FUN watching it, which is more than I can say for most movies I've seen lately. I sat through the WHOLE thing and I can't remember the last time I did that. I keep checking the schedule, with fingers crossed, hoping it will show up. If Scifi (SyFy, whatever) can run Thor: Hammer of God more than once, this movie definitely, without question, deserves another shot!!! PLEASE!!!
18 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Conventional monster yarn with superior ensemble cast
MartianOctocretr523 February 2010
Really enjoyed this, it's one of SyFy channel's better efforts. The action is paced well, the characters are well-developed, and the acting is at a premium level.

It's a good late-night monster flick, with a dragon beast that attacks the residents of a small remote Alaskan town. The special effects are adequate in making what you see believable, and the director depicts the violence adequately by tempering the gore scenes. You see the violence, yet without the excessive blood and guts spraying around gratuitously. Also, because the actors make the characters natural and give them dimension, you care about them. So, when someone is lost, you feel that loss (in contrast to the paper cut-out screamers these movies usually have, and you root for the monster). The town's people are a nicely composed group of different types of people, with no clichéd personalities (for once). The film even gives the creature some depth: what it's doing, why, etc.

The final battle sequence is the stuff of good popcorn monster movie action. The weapon that's used might seem way out, but it's a lot of fun, an original idea, and the duel really shows somebody thought out how to do it effectively.

Despite a limited budget, this film is a good watch.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Tremors" comes to Alaska ..............
merklekranz15 September 2009
Right away you will notice some similarities between "Wyvern" and "Tremors". Of course the monsters differ greatly, flying serpent and sand worms. Some things that are the same would be, trapped and isolated town, resourcefulness of the locals to defeat the predator, and most importantly, both movies take the time to develop characters. The Wyvern is depicted well, and since there are no night scenes, you get to see it often. It's also nice to not have to see the stereotypes you get in a lot of Sci-fi channel movies. There are no pseudo scientists, no gratuitous love interests, no animals disappearing (except perhaps for a moose in a hot tub), just plain folks fighting a winged dragon. Good entertainment. - MERK
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sky high
ctomvelu17 August 2010
Fair dragon-on-the-loose adventure, set in modern-day Alaska. A mythological Norwegian beast turns out to be very real as it attacks a small wilderness town. The beast itself is nothing special, a typical CGI creation that looks like a cross between a dragon and a winged canine. But the plot moves along briskly enough (with a wink and a nod to JAWS in the form of a town festival taking place while the monster is on the loose), and this low-budget TV movie is graced by the presence of not one but two veteran character actors, Barry Corbin and Don Davis. Corbin has been in many movies and co-starred in the wonderful TV series, NORTHERN EXPOSURE. Davis is perhaps best known for his role in the original STARGATE TV series. They give this slight monster movie some measure of gravitas.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well done monster flick and... Erin Karpluk
Wuchakk12 March 2014
RELEASED TO TV in early 2009, "Wyvern" is a story about an Alaskan hamlet attacked by some sort of dragon-like creature, recently awoken from its long frozen hibernation. It's directed by the great grade-B-monster-flick director Stephen R. Monroe who also did "Sasquatch Mountain", "Ogre", "It Waits" and the remake of "I Spit on Your Grave" (2010).

What I liked:

  • The story is taken seriously without being dead-serious.

  • The cast is good and the characters seem real and three-dimensional.

  • Erin Karpluk plays one of the main characters, Claire. She's also one of the most gorgeous, winsome females to walk the face of the earth. What a smokin' figure!

  • The dragon isn't just causing havoc without rhyme or reason; it has a plan.

  • The CGI creature is effective.

The ending is an obvious homage to Spielberg's excellent 1971 TV flick "Duel".

BOTTOM LINE: If you enjoy modern monster-in-the-woods flicks like "Goblin", "It Waits" and "Ogre" you'll likely appreciate "Wyvern", which is on par with "Goblin" but a bit better than the other two.

THE FILM RUNS about 90 minutes and was filmed in Vancouver, BC (big surprise).

3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
By far one of the better SyFy movies
TheLittleSongbird9 April 2012
I say this because a lot of SyFy movies are bottom-of-the-barrel quality. Not Wyvern though, which is not perfect but entertaining and alongside The Lost Future miles above anything else SyFy has done. Visually it is not too bad, nothing mind-blowing with some scenes in the editing looking as though they had been hindered by budget, but the effects do look as though care did go into them and the scenery is very nice. Apart from an unnecessary music collage, the music is fitting and doesn't harm the film's pace. The script is an improvement on the usual cheesy and stilted dialogue usually in SyFy movies, and the story has suspenseful and thrilling scenes, not predictable and much more realistic than other SyFy movies with the main character having an interesting back story. The characters are clichéd in a way, but also likable, and the acting while not award-worthy is actually solid with nobody coming across as bland or hilariously bad. Overall, a good, solid movie, not brilliant, but compared to a lot of other SyFy movies it is watchable. 7/10 Bethany Cox
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wyvern? More like WHY? WHY?!
natashabowiepinky18 March 2014
With global warming well underway and the polar icecaps melting, all kinds of long extinct beasties may be making a reemergence near A Small Town near you. Why, today it's a 'Wyvern'... What next? A Tyrannosaurus in Tynemouth? A Harpy in Harlow? Or, worst of all... the dreaded Tony Blair? Quick, recall all our world forces. Sod Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and all those other places you can't find on a globe... THIS IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT!!

So, as our not-at-all underdeveloped supporting cast get eaten one by one, you may find yourself asking a few questions. Like: Why isn't the creature breathing fire as depicted on the front cover? And: Why are they only sending ONE helicopter (which is destroyed instantaneously) to a pretty explicit international distress call? And lets not forget the Ice Trucker guy, who in the midst of all this carnage can still spin a five minute yarn about how guilty he feels over not being able to prevent the death of a friend in an unrelated incident years ago. Guess who saves the day?

The dragon looks nice (If not exactly a fluid mover) but this is strictly a modern day B movie... without the smarts to realise just how ludicrous it is. A waste of time for all involved, really... especially the viewer. 3/10
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Global Warming Looses The Wyvern
bkoganbing14 February 2009
Wyvern is a cut above the average from the Science Fiction Channel offerings. The Wyvern is a mythical beast from the ancient Norse religion who was a complete killing and eating machine and when it bit Odin, Odin banished him to the frozen icecap. But as we know the icecap has been melting so the dragon creature is loose.

The film is a cross between Northern Exposure and the old science fiction film The Giant Claw. For all of you not familiar with Fifties Science Fiction, The Giant Claw was about a giant flying creature from outer space who came to earth to nest. That's what old Wyvern is doing as it lays some eggs.

Barry Corbin and Elaine Miles from Northern Exposure are in the cast so you don't forget we're in Alaska. Corbin's the guy who tells the rest of the townspeople what they're dealing with. His Norwegian background in the folklore of his people makes him able to identify the monster. There's even a Rob Morrow like doctor played by David Lewis who is something of a wise city slicker as much out of place as Morrow was. The Wyvern really has a grisly plan for him, this creature is as intelligent as Stephen Spielberg's raptors in Jurassic Park.

Wyvern's a bit better than what we usually get from this channel, the characters were interesting. I've only one question to ask, do you think the Russians could see the Wyvern from Kamchatka?
7 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Syfy needs to stop
JoeB13117 April 2010
sending their staffers out to write good reviews of their crappy movies.

Okay, even I'll concede that this is SLIGHTLY better than most of their "original" films, but it's the same story.

Get a bad CGI monster, film somewhere in Canada and pretend it's the United States, have a film where the character actors (including at least one recently from a Sci-Fi Franchise) are systematically picked off by the monster.

The hook in the plot is that this story takes place in a remote part of Alaska where they have days of sunlight around the summer solstice, and everyone goes a little nutty from lack of sleep...So a 100 foot man-eating flying lizard doesn't necessarily attract as much attention as one might think it would. Really.

Oh, I think there's a global warming message here somewhere. If only Al Gore could work THAT into his presentation, someone might give a hoot.

The tell that this is a TV movie. No one uses curse words no matter how bad things get... "Stuff Happens" said by a trucker. No trucker would say anything that tame...
6 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Flying reptilian aliens...
paul_haakonsen9 June 2016
"Wyvern" is in every sense of the word a TV movie. So is that necessarily a bad thing? Well, no. "Wyvern" actually proved to be adequate entertainment for what it was. Mind you, don't expect Shakespearian acting here, or top notch special effects galore. But the movie did prevail with what resources it had at its disposal.

The story is straight forward and rather simplistic, to be honest. It is about a small Alaskan community which is entering the last days with sunlight and to engage in their annual celebration of the solstice. However, an ancient and terrible creature has awoken from its frozen prison and seeks to the sky, to spread terror and havoc to the Alaskan citizens.

The effects in "Wyvern" were actually surprisingly good for a TV movie, because the wyvern itself did actually look quite nice and had some good details to it. Of course, it wasn't fully up to the standards of the Hollywood blockbusters. But still, it worked out quite well enough.

As for the acting in the movie, then the people did good jobs with their fairly limited script. That being said, don't get me wrong. While it might not have been the most famous or familiar of acting talents, then people were still doing good jobs in bringing the characters to life on the screen. I only recognized Barry Corbin, Don S. Davis and Elaine Miles in this movie.

I have actually seen "Wyvern" twice now, over a period of 7 years, so it does sustain multiple viewings, albeit with years in between.

However, "Wyvern" is hardly an outstanding movie, and as such, then I am rating the movie a mediocre five out of ten stars.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Dumb Movie with No Visible Point
artpf28 December 2013
The residents of a small Alaskan town find themselves under attack by a flying reptile known in medieval mythology as a Wyvern.

It has thawed from its ancient slumber by melting icecaps caused by global warming.

Only we're in Alaska. Ice Caps aren't here.

It's a trite, dumb movie that only a dolt could love.

Flying monster is OK looking but the story lacks anything really interesting.

Acting is mediocre at best and the directing is slow.

And of course, they have to throw in a global warming angle. Can you be any more dumb?
3 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Oh boy....
lindsey20426 September 2021
A little bit better than most SYFY movies, watchable with the option to fast forward...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Unremarkable but adequate creature feature
I_Ailurophile27 June 2021
I appreciate how this wastes no time whatsoever. Before any characters are introduced we see the wyvern's eye shifting behind a thin wall of ice, and shortly after a fisherman is attacked. SyFy films are nothing if not direct, and 'Wyvern' is as expectedly blunt as they come.

In the same vein, the characters are unsurprisingly one-dimensional. You have the drifter protagonist, traumatized by a recent past and somehow selected to be a leader for no apparent reason; the level-headed locals, including the love interest; and several eccentric locals, whose personalities are less than ordinary but no less flat. After all, most of them are just fodder for the beast.

The wyvern itself is reasonably believable. No one is going to mistake it for a real, trained animal, but compared to the monsters in other creature features, the visuals look pretty good against the background of the Alaskan wilds and the sleepy northern hamlet. Not to sound dismissive, but this basically goes for the cast as well. I assume that given roles with greater agency they would all demonstrate their capabilities, but in 'Wyvern' it's more a question of what they're given to work with. And it's not much.

Action sequences are as ham-handed as the dialogue, and characters consistently make questionable decisions. A monologue suggesting the origin of the wyvern in Norse mythology, and commentary about Earth's climate crisis, is the most carefully considered aspect of the feature. That, and saving money in the budget by having such a small cast - and making it believable by depicting the town of Beaver Mills as little more than a handful of buildings, and no larger than a few dozen permanent residents.

There are no great revelations on hand: Viewers should already have a very clear idea of what they're getting into. And from the beginning the movie is very honest about what it is, with no care for what anyone thinks. No one is going to call it an award-worthy masterpiece, yet as far as such straightforward creature features go, 'Wyvern' is probably about as well made as you're going to get.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
1950's SiFi lives!
hjandjd19 June 2021
My husband watched this and says that it reminds him of the best of the "B" SiFi movies of the 1950s. If was a fun film to watch and was not to be takes seriously, as the 1950s weren't either.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
devils_neighbor_66723 September 2019
A Solidly Entertaining Movie with Action, laughs and a likeable cast. Very impressed!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Syfy production..
Mikeelliott5820 January 2019
Pleasent little movie.. likable characters..

However when the crazy lady gives an explanation based on Christian mythos she is dismissed.

When the crazy old man gives an old Nordic legend about a dragon that was banished by Odin everyone ate it up..

It didn't make much sense considering there were no odinist in the party...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sometimes stuff just happens.
Hey_Sweden4 May 2018
The setting is a small Alaska town named Beaver Mills, which is putting on a festival during their midsummer period where there is no night time. However, the title creature is awoken from slumber in Arctic ice, and it finds plenty of good feeding in this little town. Among the imperiled local citizens who must do battle with the beast are trucker Jake (Nick Chinlund, Billy Bedlam in "Con Air"), diner operator Claire (Erin Karpluk, 'Being Erica') and grizzled old coot Hoss (Barry Corbin, "No Country for Old Men").

"Wyvern" is actually not that bad as these kinds of made-for-TV monster movies go. It's based on an actual dragon-like creature of legend and folklore, so the material isn't entirely of the writers' own invention. The capable direction is by genre veteran Steven R. Monroe (whose credits include the remake of "I Spit on Your Grave"), and he keeps the thing moving along fairly well, save for one big character moment / monologue for Chinlund late in the story. Filmed in British Columbia, it does have a somewhat 'Northern Exposure'-like feel, especially with Corbin and Elaine Miles (who plays the dopey deputy) in the cast. The gore is minimal, and the killings not that satisfying, but overall the CGI is acceptable, and the monster design is good. The script is pretty cliched overall.

Some of the characters are annoying, but the cast is solid and above average for this sort of thing. Don S. Davis ('Stargate SG-1') appears in one of his final roles, as the retired colonel who sights the creature early on, and the movie is dedicated to him. Chinlund is okay as the Everyman-type hero, Corbin as always is just wonderful, and also among the cast are Tinsel Korey (the "Twilight" series), John Shaw ("Watchmen"), and David Lewis ("Lake Placid").

Good, if not inspired, entertainment for fans of B level monster movies.

Six out of 10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
lee-780-701231 July 2010
I was surprised after reading these reviews, as I'm currently sat here watching the film and while I love Don Davis (SG1), I found the acting performances in this film quite cringe-worthy. Totally overdone and quite embarrassing.

It's a typical Sci Fi B-Movie and while worth watching if there's nothing else on, I certainly wouldn't recommend renting it at any time.

The Wyvern effects are pretty good and realistic (Wyvern being a mythical creature from Wales in the UK, not Nordic mythology) and the story isn't too bad, but the actors ruined the movie for me.

I'll continue to watch it as there's nothing else on out here in Egypt but it's not one of the best films I've ever seen by a long way ;)
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good CGI but did they really need to kill Haas???
wandernn1-81-68327421 June 2020
+1 Star for the opening and wow, nice effects for the Wyvern.....

It's cool seeing Donnie Pffaster as the hero!!!!

-1 Star when they are sitting around talking about what the creature is. They all saw it at that point who cares what it is? Time for a plan of action and then action!! Not talk about what it is!!!

-1 Star for the Wyvern being able apparently to kill the entire population of the little burg as they tried to escape the town

-1 Star for another stupid sequence lets call the Wyvern Drops doctor as bait sequence, that was dumb

+1 Star for Wyvern vs. helicoptor!!!!!

Okay the end was pretty cheesey but where were they going to go????

Overall 4/10
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed