Joseph and his wife and 12-year-old daughter live in a house in the woods. The family earns money by selling the pelts of captured animals, but lately it has become increasingly difficult to make ends meet. And when a cunning wolf shows up in the neighborhood and starts emptying traps, Joseph decides to deal with him one-on-one and goes hunting.
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Humans are the prey. No matter how much one thinks that humans are the top of the food chain, the thriller “Greywolf” asserts the contrary and gives an oppressive impression. Nature’s indifference and the audience’s initial expectations probably play their part: Greywolf appears to be a mundane survival thriller, a battle between man and animal, but the script quickly descends into hopelessness in a spiral. The answer to many misanthropic questions comes with the finale: the final minutes of the film represent the only adequate idea the author had – meaningless, crude and yet understandable.
The action of “Greywolf” takes place in 1990. An almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere permeates the forest of Manitoba, evoking a yearning for “The Road” and the game The Last of Us. A family of three lives in the wilderness: a father, a mother and a daughter. The father teaches the daughter how to hunt and how to properly skin carcasses. This atmosphere of a dystopian fairy tale does not last long: soon the family is threatened by a very hungry wolf. The father goes to the woods to kill the predator, and suddenly discovers a ritual murder scene just like in the first season of “True Detective”.
The creators set a slow pace from the beginning, which becomes tedious at times. The reason is clear: to establish the complex emotional dynamics of an unusual family. Dramatic problems ensue: while the mother questions their unconventional lifestyle and the girl ponders whether to follow in her father’s footsteps, far more interesting things are happening. In those moments when the plot focuses on elements of a huge wolf thriller or a detective story investigation, “Greywolf” reveals itself best. This leads to a worthy final act of the film, as the cumulative personal tragedies lead to a finale capable of eliciting the admiration of Hannibal Lecter.
Of course, the closing scene, which is one of the most conspicuous in “The Wolfman,” works this way because it leads smoothly to it throughout the plot. At first, the film is an ordinary and not particularly distinctive survival-themed thriller. Then it rolls off into classic horror. It works: after the slow-motion setting collapses abruptly because of the abundant use of sound effects and music, there is a shock effect. In contrast to the rest of the picture; if one considers “The Wolf” in isolation from the final scene, it is more of a dragging spectacle. The sense of dread the creators want to imbue everything with doesn’t always shoot through: there is still more ghastly than creepy.
The undeniably spectacular thriller looks sour and ugly at times: there really is a lot of violence. This often prevents you from enjoying the dark atmosphere that is faithfully built up here: some elements are purposefully pushed behind the scenes, and the various plot twists look more mediocre. And yes, everything eventually boils down to some unspoken truths about the hunter turned prey: the story of humanity’s madness is understandable, but once “Grey Wolf” thunders about the unreasonableness of being a crown of nature, the plot continues, leaving more questions after viewing than answers.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (59.3 Mb/s)
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1