Director – Fritz Bohm (Mondmann, Erin Brudermord)
Starring – Bel Powley (Mary Shelley, The Cabin), Brad Dourif (Child’s Play, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), and Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Armageddon)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Discover your true nature”
With Thanksgiving now behind me I’m back to more horror and catching up on movies sent over to me for review. Way back in October I had put together a stack of movies to binge watch through the month. It started out awesome but the last week of the month was rough for my family when we suffered an unexpected death. Most of those movies I had to put off checking out until I could get caught up on a couple of other releases. A few days back I started working on a few of the IFC Midnight and Scream Factory collaborations. After watching Pyewacket and Lowlife I went ahead and tossed in the unusual werewolf film Wildling.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Anna (Powley) who lives with an older man who she calls Daddy (Dourif). He gives her shots to repress her estrigene to prevent her from maturing and scares here with tales about a creature called a wildling that eats children. When she becomes ill from all the medications he has injected her with she asks him to take her to the woods where she can become a tree. Seeing that she is dying he kills himself. The gunshot worries the neighbors and they call 911. The sheriff, Ellen (Tyler), arrives and takes her into custody before taking her home to try and give her a normal life. Soon her body matures and she starts her period and with in a craving for meat and an impeccable talent for killing.**Spoiler Alert**
When I was putting my stack of movies to check out I was not excited to see this one. I had high hopes for Pyewacket and Lowlife but the artwork for this one made me think it was a boring dark drama that flirted with horror themes.
The acting in this one is very inconsistent but still very entertaining. The star of the show is Bel Powley. Her performance makes the film and without her this film would have crashed and burn. Liv Tyler was great as well. Her character is rather bland and a little on the boring side but she does a solid job. It works for the film but she’s easily forgettable. I was underwhelmed with Brad Dourif’s performance. He has delivered so many memorable performances over the years but Wildling is not it. He is underutilized in the film and doesn’t seem dedicated to his role.
The story for this one is not one many would expect when tossing in a knowing a werewolf film. The movie is very unconventional for a werewolf film but really works. It’s a deep character piece that is slightly predictable but still works. The story is very rich and highly enjoyable.
Finally, the film does have some blood but nothing in the way of gore. We do get some solid practical effects along with some painfully bad CGI. The beast at the end of the film made me laugh at how bad it was. A brilliant movie in almost every way is brought to a screeching halt due to laughable CGI. Overall, Wildling is a phenomenal piece of cinema. The dark tone and brilliant atmosphere make this character piece well worth your time. The horrible CGI does take away from the overall film but not enough to ruin it. Check it out.