Two minutes in and the viewer is witness to an execution and a woman mauled by a dog, all of which is set in the horrific backdrop of World War 2. Director Adrian Panek provides a survival thriller that’s limp plot leaves viewers with fewer thrills and a disappointing lack of fulfilment.
A group of children are freed from a concentration camp and attempt to survive whilst taking shelter at an abandoned mansion. A lack of food and water at first appears to be their only problem but soon the werewolves appear from out of the forest that surrounds the mansion trapping the children in a situation that seems to have just one outcome: death.
Although the film does begin with strong performances and plenty of reason why to continue watching the plot seems to dilute and the viewers, as well as the characters, are deprived of something to fulfil their appetite.
Sonia Mietielica playing Hanka as the eldest of the group gives a performance that stands out amongst the pack, though given that most of the characters are close to mute, that may just be outstanding by default.
The fault truly is in the writing, especially with the film being branded as a thriller. It doesn’t quite have any sense of urgency which would at least provide the viewer with a desire to see how it ends but instead the end credits are a liberation from a dull attempt at thrill.
It’s clear that such a genre is difficult to master and although director Adrian Panek’s attempt is as great as a limp handshake, there is an artistic sensitivity that’ll be worth keeping an eye on in the future.
Dir: Adrian Panek
Scr: Adrian Panek
Cast: Kamil Polnisiak, Nicolas Przygoda, Sonia Mietielica, Danuta Stenka, Werner Daehn
Prd: Agata Szymanska & Magdalena Kaminska
DoP: Dominik Danilczyk
Country: Poland, Netherlands & Germany
Runtime: 88 mins
Werewolf will be released in cinemas nationwide (UK & Ireland) from 20 September 2019.