Let me be honest before I begin writing about "Big Bad Wolves" in that I was in no rush to review it. I could have watched this film months ago but, I was fearing the dreaded sophomore slump from Directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.
You see their very first film, "Rabies", was a revelation and made my top ten list of Indie movies for 2012. A mix of sharp satire and shocking scares involving a group of teenagers, a pair of patrolling cops, a park ranger and his dog that all are caught in between a serial killer and the isolated woods (ringed by minefields) where he hunts his prey.
Well I was wrong. Dead wrong. Instead that talented Israeli team has just delivered a new nail-biter of a Thriller that is more polished and certainly superior to their first offering. Because this second feature bares it's teeth in a wicked and knowing grin!
Similar to renowned filmmakers the Coen Bros. or Quentin Tarantino, they set-up the viewer into thinking they know what's going to happen next before pulling out the rug from underneath them. Subverting the familiar scenarios genre films must always follow.
Take "Rabies" for example, definitely a Horror film that is shot entirely in daylight. No one gets lost or can't find where they are traveling to in the forest. Clearly showing everything with nothing to hide but, what fate intends. Very different from your run of the mill fright flick.
Their latest bend the rules again when a trio of bad men-- a dumb detective, a supposed child predator and the disturbed father of a recent victim-- come together to try and beat the horrifying truth out of their captive in what is essentially one long torture sequence that carries on throughout the film. Leading to an ending that has all these wolves licking their own wounds.
Easy then to figure out why Tarantino called it the best film of 2013. Lots of dark humor (often scathingly so) with an undercurrent of thoughtful metaphor about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and a slo-mo beginning that plays like a Brothers Grimm fairytale combine to make a dazzling film that defies expectations.
Credit goes to Keshales and Papushado, who wrote both telling pictures and a talented cast that provides spot-on characterization, including Lior Ashkenzai ("Late Marriage"), as a member of the police who uses too much force and inevitably sets the subsequent events in motion.
Watch out for "Big Bad Wolves" or you too might get bitten. Available now to rent or buy on Blu Ray and DVD from Magnet Releasing.