THE WOLF HOUR is a psychological thriller starring Naomi Watts. It’s a slowburner with a plot driven forward by its characters. Also, it does take place in New York during the notorious “Summer of Sam”. It won’t be for everyone but I enjoyed it. Read more in our The Wolf Hour review here!
The Wolf Hour is a slowburner of a psychological thriller. It stars Naomi Watts in the all-important lead role and she can definitely carry a movie like this. I have no doubt that it will not be for everyone. In fact, it’s probably a love it or hate it movie. In that case, I’m one of the people who loved it. Even if it did drive me crazy at times.
Or rather, the lead character would drive me crazy. However, it was always for very valid reasons. Afterall, she is seriously struggling with even keeping her sanity while being deadly afraid to leave her apartment.
Read the rest of our The Wolf Hour review to figure out if it’s something you might enjoy!
Naomi Watts on the edge
The best comparison for Naomi Watts’ character in The Wolf Hour might actually be her role in a movie that really started her career; David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001). She might seem to be doing okay at times, but at soon as she experiences just a little pressure, she’s ready to fall apart.
Also, another very obvious comparison would be Shut In from 2016. Especially since both Shut In and The Wolf Hour literally features her trapped in her home. For quite different reasons, but still.
You might like: The trailer for horror thriller Shut In right here >
For me, the character of June is a tour de force from Naomi Watts. She is so completely raw and honest in her portrayal of a woman in pain, who is struggling but far from giving up. It might look like she’s ready to break, but she always manages to push through.
The huge problem for her is the fact that someone keeps ringing the buzzer to her apartment at all hours. Nobody seems to be there when she answers and she won’t (or rather, she can’t) leave her apartment to investigate further. Also, the news on TV and the radio is all about the Son of Sam killer. Oh yeah, and she lives in a very bad neighborhood.
The Wolf Hour features an awesome supporting cast
While The Wolf Hour is definitely Naomi Watts’ vehicle, the psychological thriller has a stellar supporting cast as well. We have Kelvin Harrison Jr. as the delivery guy Freddie. Since June (Naomi Watts) can’t leave her apartment, she gets groceries delivered from the local market.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. does an awesome job as Freddie. Especially in the way he both helps and challenges June. He even seems to get through to her at time, when he tries to explain that while she might struggle, other people have it a lot worse! You might recognize Kelvin Harrison Jr. from It Comes at Night (2017) – read our review of the zombie horror drama here >
In the role of Margot, who is the person closest to June, we have the brilliant Jennifer Ehle. She has played a ton of amazing supporting characters over the years. You may know Jennifer Ehle from movies such as Contagion (2011), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), or the fantasy thriller I Kill Giants (2017).
Right now, Jennifer Ehle is also starring in a horror movie titled Saint Maud (2019). The movie just premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2019 and went on to screen at both Fantastic Fest and London Film Festival. I am really looking forward to watching Saint Maud which was written and directed by Rose Glass (her feature film debut). It’ll be out via A24 next year.
Watch The Wolf Hour when you get the chance
The Wolf Hour was written and directed by Alistair Banks Griffin. This is only his second feature film with Two Gates of Sleep from 2010 being his first. I know the slowburn and very simple and character-driven plot won’t be for everyone.
However, if you do enjoy this kind of movie, then The Wolf Hour should be a treat for you. I felt like the plot continuously moved forward as June (Naomi Watts) kept pushing herself – or was being pushed by circumstance. To other viewers, it might appear as though nothing is happening because we never really leave the apartment. We do look out the window though.
Besides, an entire anthology has been based on the concept of having the entire plot of each and every episode play out in one motel room. The HBO horror thriller anthology Room 104 by The Duplass Brothers will have its fourth season come out in 2020, so it’s certainly a concept that works.
Check out The Wolf Hour when you get the chance, if you enjoy psychological thrillers. Especially if slowburn character-driven movies are your thing. Or even if you’re just a fan of Naomi Watts since she is brilliant in this!
The Wolf Hour premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2019 and is still playing film festivals while slowly being released around the world. Hopefully someone will pick it up for wide release soon (maybe Netflix?!).
Director: Alistair Banks Griffin
Writer: Alistair Banks Griffin
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jennifer Ehle, Brennan Brown, Jeremy Bobb
June was once a known counter-culture figure, but that was a decade ago. She now lives alone in her South Bronx apartment, having all but cut herself off from the outside world. It’s the notorious “Summer of Sam” and June only has to look out of her window to see the violence escalating with the brutal summer heat. The city is on a knife’s edge, a pressure-cooker about to explode into the incendiary 1977 New York blackout riots.