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Rated 3.54 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Where the Wildlings Are
by Betty Jo Tucker

Beware the wildling creatures! They dwell in the forest, have sharp teeth and claw-like fingers -- all the better to steal and eat small children with.  At least that’s what filmmaker Fritz Rohm bases Wildling, his first feature film, upon. Fortunately, he’s put together a first-rate cast to help us suspend disbelief while watching the scary tale unfold on screen. Brad Dourif, Bel Powley, Liv Tyler, James LeGros, and Collin Kelly-Sordelet deliver realistic performances in key roles, which is so important in a film like this. The cinematography by Matt Tobin also deserves recognition for its atmospheric presentation, and the screenplay co-written by Rohm and Florian Eder avoids over-the-top dialogue, which also enhances the film’s believability.

Bel Powley turns in a stunning portrayal of Anna, a teenage girl thrust into a world she has never known, who goes through changes that mystify and terrorize her.         

A child is trapped in just one room.

Is this youngster destined for doom?

“Daddy” comes in for food and such.

Why does he seem so out of touch?

 

Stories he tells of blood and gore.

Where can he find this kind of lore?

Mystery seems everywhere

in "Wildling." So see it with care.

 

A well-done movie to be sure.

Lead actress Del becomes a lure.

She scares us yet earns empathy.

But dare we give her sympathy?

 

Bad things happen beneath the moon.

Can she resist the path to ruin?

This horror film and fantasy

made my heart pound ferociously.    

Powley seems perfect in the lead role here. She convinces us of Anna’s feral nature, even though we see this young girl go through a stage when she wants to know how to fit in. Plus, she demonstrates great physical power during some wild scenes in the forest where a mysterious Wolf Man (James LeGros) dwells.

Our heart goes out to her, just like Sheriff Ellen Cooper’s (Liv Tyler) does after Anna’s “Daddy” (Dourif) disappears. Ellen even takes her into her own home to try and help the orphan. And Ellen’s younger brother (Collin Kelly-Sordelet) becomes emotionally involved with Anna.  

It’s refreshing to see so many important themes dealt with in a horror film. Coming-of-age, self-identity, family, bullying, love and compassion all receive attention in Wildling. It’s a very engrossing film. 

(Released by IFC Midnight and rated “R” for violence including bloody images, language, some sexual content and teen drinking.)

For more information about Wildling, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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