Movie Review: WILDLING

WILDLING was directed by Fritz Böhm who co-wrote the screenplay with Florian Eder and stars Liv Tyler, Bel Powley, Mike Faist, James LeGros, Collin Kelly-Sordelet and Brad Dourif.

A teenage girl’s coming of age comes with a terrifying twist in this spellbinding take on the werewolf legend. Since birth, Anna (Bel Powley) has been raised in isolation by a man she knows only as Daddy (Brad Dourif) who has done everything possible to conceal the truth about the girl’s origins from her. But when the teenage Anna is suddenly thrust into the real world under the protection of no-nonsense police officer Ellen (Liv Tyler), it soon becomes clear that the young woman is far from ordinary. Unable to adjust to a normal life, Anna finds herself drawn instead to the wild freedom of the forest while struggling to resist the growing bloodlust that has awakened inside her. This moodily atmospheric thriller combines supernatural scares with a myth-like tale of self-discovery.

The movie centers around this mysterious young woman who was secretly raised by a man in isolation because of the secret that lies dormant inside of her. In the beginning it appears that he saved her from something terrifying but the truth surfaces as the movie plays out. Tragedy strikes and she ends up in the protective custody by the local sheriff and her son who open their home up to the young woman while they try to help her out anyway they can. They realize that communicating with her isn’t going to be easy plus she has this habit of venturing out because of her curiosity for the new surroundings.

What happens is, her “daddy” ends up finding her and the shocking truth about the young woman is finally revealed. The viewer learns that the protective father figure that she trusted for so many years always had an ulterior motive and now he’s back to finish the job. In the end, the young woman’s rebellious animal instincts take over and allow her to make the transformation that the old man was forcing her to keep buried deep inside for so many years. She ultimately gets her freedom as well as a new beginning with a little help from a few new friends.

Bottom line is, Wildling ended up being a suspenseful and thought-provoking entry into the werewolf subgenre that it so desperately needed. We’ve gotten lots of really bad low budget werewolf movies over the past few years and they’ve all been very forgettable unfortunately. This one here breathes some new life into it because it takes a whole new approach to the Lycan mythology because it’s more story and character driven instead of relying heavily on special effects and gore. There’s a little blood in the movie but there’s no shock factor or anything like that. It’s also a slow burn but the story is so good and the characters are interesting enough that it keeps you tuned in until the “hairy” payoff in the finale. Yes, the young woman does ultimately transform into something else that simply wants to survive and have a chance at a future. This eerie coming-of-age thriller is now playing in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles and it’s also available On Demand.

Distributor: IFC Midnight

Run Time: 92 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated



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