Signed up the 29/03/2017
Wildling is 2018 supernatural horror film directed Fritz Böhm. The film stars Liv Tyer, Bel Powley, Brad Dourif and Collin Kelly-Sordelet. The film follows a teenage girl named Anna who after years of living in captivity is released into the world for the first time and learns that not everything is as it seems, especially when it comes to her body.
I rarely use the word magic to describe a movie but this film is exactly that. A creature feature that updates itself from the typical midnight creature feature to become something more, a tale about adolescence and the animal within us all.
Bel’s performance as Anna a young teenage girl trying to understand the changes in her body is fantastic, she brings you into her world that’s filled with fear for the unknown but also danger that lurks within, especially with her expressive face.
The film plays like an updated Ginger Snaps without the underlying sisterhood factor but also plays like An American Werewolf in London without the werewolf or London but instead an eerie forest town and a wildling at the center of its creature feature. Visually the film works, the scenes where it’s too dark to tell what’s going on benefit the film in sense that it plays to the whole unknown change that’s happening to Anna.
This change comes with the horror territory that film shifts into in its second act but I feel like it’s more survivalist horror than anything else, but instead of going for more gore and scares, Fritz rather settles for the horror of the puberty and unlike Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man where the change is portrayed as a somewhat scientific exciting change (the scene where Peter returns home and the effects of the spider bite take hold has been said to reflect puberty by Raimi) here the change is scary because it comes with an inner growl, hair literally everywhere, enhanced senses, animal urges, and the need to run barefoot in the forest.
The film carried by Bel Powley’s wide eyed otherworldly performance and the touch of fantasy towards the end help make it stand out in genre that’s filled with many great films. Wildling’s dark aesthetics and performances and messaging about puberty allows for it to be considered as a worthy successor to Ginger Snaps.
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