Review: ‘Wildling’ is dark, coming of age tale.

WILDLING

 **WORLD PREMIERE – 2018 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL**

The feature debut from Fritz Böhm, WILDLING is a spellbinding take on the werewolf legend starring Independent Spirit Award Nominee Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), SAG Award® Winner Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings, Armageddon) and Academy Award® Nominee Brad Dourif (One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest, Child’s Play).

 WILDLING is a unique dark fantasy tale centered on young Anna (Powley) who has been raised in isolation by a man she knows only as Daddy (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 Cooper (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.

There are many elements of Wildling that excited me. The cast is beyond excellent. Bel Powley is undeniably a star. As she never seems to age, she can continue to portray exceedingly young characters. Her onscreen presence is captivating. And while she actually speaks relatively few lines in the film, she owns each scene she appears in. Liv Tyler is as elegant as ever. Never doubt her ability to completely inhabit any role. Brad Dourif is scary as hell. He makes your skin crawl in the best way possible. The lighting is truly something to behold. Extra attention to the sound mixing plays perfectly on the audience’s sense of dread or wonder, depending on the moment to moment needs of the plot.

After all of the positives, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the rushed feel of the story. Much of the plot seems to be missing as if there is an entire section of canon that was left out for runtime. I have so many questions pertaining to missing elements (I won’t be too specific because of spoilers) and I was a genuinely baffled by their absence. Some serious plot holes. The emotional transition of all the major players was swifter than feel natural under the circumstances. Finally, if I hadn’t seen Netflix’s original series Big Mouth, perhaps I wouldn’t be so bothered by the final creature FX.

Wilding has a graphic novel turned feature film feeling to it. It’s most definitely entertaining and worth the watch. You can watch the trailer below.

IFC Midnight will release the upcoming thriller WILDLING in theaters in NYC and LA as well as on VOD and Digital HD on April 13.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.