WEREWOLF (2018) Reviews of horror-war thriller

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[Total: 50   Average: 2.8/5]

‘Liberation was just the beginning…’

Werewolf is a 2018 Polish horror-war thriller feature film about a group of children recently liberated from a concentration camp. They have to overcome hunger, thirst and vicious dogs in an abandoned mansion surrounded by the forest.

Written and directed by Adrian Panek, the movie stars Kamil Polnisiak, Nicolas Przygoda, Sonia Mietielica and Danuta Stenka.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

Werewolf is a beautiful look at what people can do under the most gruesome of circumstances, with even young Wladek finding salvation amidst the grace of the other kids.” Birth. Movies. Death.

“The plots themes and cast – an ensemble without a weak link – are perhaps better suited to an older teen audience, who could even put it to good use in an educational setting. Panek is to be commended for his solid handling of character, avoiding demonising any of the children, so that even when they commit unpleasant acts, we are able to see how their experience has led to this.” Eye for Film

” …even if Werewolf lacks bite as an allegorical horror thriller, it works pretty well as a psychological study of tender young minds struggling to relearn their humanity after years of brutal mistreatment by inhuman adults. The unschooled cast are unusually natural and convincing for child actors, and technical credits are generally superior.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Cinematographer Dominik Danilczyk gives it the look of an ominous fable, while the design team (production designer Anna Wunderlich, art director Marcin Aziukiewicz) really make the mansion-turned-orphanage look like a shabby monument to faded days of glory. In many ways, it is a heartbreaking film, but it also allows for the possibility of hope—and maybe even forgiveness. Very highly recommended…” J.B. Spins

“It’s very tense and exciting and scary and yet, it also ends in a very unexpected way that I really loved, because both groups in this film—the kids and the dogs—were used and abused and neither of them deserved more pain. Definitely be on the look out for this little film.” Lewton Bus

” …Werewolf is a rugged and well-directed thriller, an Eastern European cousin of the tough horror movies produced by independent American cinema in the Vietnam era. And in a market saturated with prestige Holocaust dramas that are often unwilling to get their hands dirty, Werewolf isn’t afraid to portray the true horrors of that chapter of European history.” The Movie Waffler

“Moments of genuinely unsettling peril do give way to more positive moments, and ‘the switch’ in fortunes here is pure Polish catharsis – and deservedly so. Economy is key in Werewolf, and this is a well-made, involved examination of WWII’s aftermath, refracted through a small cast and a limited setting. As such, it is able to offer an often-excruciating level of detail which really does represent the post-Holocaust world differently, with a different kind of emphasis.” The Reprobate

“Panek handles his young and largely inexperienced ensemble ably, but there’s no real sense of the lay of the land – the set-up of the house and its surroundings – essential to establishing and building the suspense of the game of inches the children are forced to play, where a single misstep can mark the difference between life and death.” Sight & Sound

“I’m guessing this film, and it’s kind of misleading title, will disappoint horror fans to start. I think they will be like me and go “oh man”. However I am pretty sure that after careful reflection the film will be seen to be what it really is, a super little war time thriller that wants to do more than thrill. Very Recommended.” Unseen Films

” …in common with the best survivalist horror stories it’s ultimately about human capacity to endure and overcome even the worst forms of adversity, and in that there’s definitely an uplifting and inspiring overtone. However, in common with the young protagonists, you have to be strong of heart and see it all through to reach that point.” Warped Perspective

Release:

Werewolf will be released on Blu-Ray, DVD and VOD across North America on December 1st 2020 via Indiecan Entertainment.

Cast and characters:

Kamil Polnisiak … Wladek
Nicolas Przygoda … Hanys
Sonia Mietielica … Hanka
Danuta Stenka … Jadwiga
Werner Daehn … SS Soldier
Jakub Syska … ‘Siwy’
Helena Mazur … ‘Ruda’
Krzysztof Durski … ‘Czarny’
Maksymilian Balcerowski … ‘Chudy’
Julia Slusarczyk … ‘Duza’
Matylda Ignasiak … ‘Mala’
Oleksandr Shcherbyna … Lonka (as Oleh Shcherbyna)
Eugeniusz Malinowski … Driver
Radoslaw Chrzescianski … Red Army Soldier
Wojciech Namiotko … Krepak
Barbara Pigon … Prisoner

Filming locations:

Ludwikowice Klodzkie, Dolnoslaskie, Poland
Bulowice, Malopolskie, Poland

Technical details:

88 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Original title:

Wilkolak

Trailer:

  

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