MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Big Bad Wolves’


Film: Big Bad Wolves
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan
Directed by: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado

There have been a number of films featuring stories of revenge released in the last year, but I can promise you not a single one will leave the same kind of lasting impression as Aharon Keshales’ Big Bad Wolves.

Picking up in the hours following a child’s abduction, Big Bad Wolves opens in a relatively empty building with a group of men demanding answers from another, greatly subdued man in glasses. They know he knows something, or at least the believe he does, and they’re willing to literally throw the book at him to help discover the truth behind the recent disappearance. Unfortunately for the men, at least one of whom is a cop, there are people waiting at the station for his man as he is wanted for official questioning as well. The man is moved, questions are asked, and though our lead cop wishes it were not true the man being questioned is ultimately set free.

As we have learned time and time again in movies however, no one is ever really free in situations such as this.

Time passes and soon another body turns up. This time the corpse has been put on display for authorities, almost as if to tease those thinking they have a clue as to the location or identity this child predator. Our protagonist does not take kindly to this and, knowing the man they let go at the top of the movie must be responsible, he sets out to take matters into his own hands. Little does he know, the father of the most recent victim has recently made a similar decision, and soon the two men cross paths on their hunt for vengeance.

Big Bad Wolves is a film unlike anything you have ever seen before, but it’s rooted in the absolute best elements of classic revenge films. It’s a fractured fairy tale, if you will, following three tormented souls down a dark rabbit hole that forces them to not only confront each other, but themselves in the process. Think if Tarantino directed the 2013 hit Prisoners, only better and with a far greater twist in the third act.

Keshales more than proved himself as a storyteller and filmmaker with his debut film, Rabies, but Big Bad Wolves is the feature that will solidify him as one of the brightest young minds making movies today. Everything from the way the film looks, to the dark humor littered in the script and the utterly jaw-dropping crime scenes create a sense of realism that helps imprint the story and its clever-yet-heartwrenching final moments into your memory. You want to shake it, if only to know a movie cannot have such a profound impact on a mature adult with plenty of life experiences, but you can’t. Big Bad Wolves stays with you, and if you ask me that’s exactly the kind of impression all great films should have on their audience.

Do whatever it takes to see Big Bad Wolves in your immediate future. If there is a theater nearby, go there, but if not the film is also available on VOD through a number of digital distributors. Trust me, this is one tale of hatred and the violence it bring you will want to share with friends.

Score: A

Written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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