WEREWOLF is a horror-drama with a story that plays out in the immediate aftermath of World War 2. The story takes place in Poland and this is a Polish production (org. title Wilkolak). Also, no, this is not a werewolf movie, but it is very good. Read our full Werewolf movie review here!
WEREWOLF is a horror-drama from Poland (org. title Wilkolak) and despite its title, it is not actually about werewolves. Instead, it’s a very realistic story that features a group of children trying to survive.
Continue reading our Werewolf movie review below.
Werewolf is not a werewolf movie!
In Werewolf, the story takes place at the end of World War 2. A group of children – from toddlers to teenagers – have just been liberated from a concentration camp. However, they have now been placed in a big house with no running water and no food.
Also, the forest surrounding this house is full of dogs that also used to work at the concentration camp. In other words, they might be “free” but they are still trapped. And also, starving!
Obviously, your mind quickly goes to a Lord of the Flies type of setting, but that doesn’t really happen here. For the most part, the older kids try their best to help keep everyone safe and alive. The younger kids often become more desperate and eat things they shouldn’t.
While the dogs surrounding this house are dangerous, there are also still Nazis out and about. There’s plenty to fear around these kids, but starvation still drives them to continue fighting. This is a horror-drama of a very realistic variety!
A wonderful cast
While most of the actors in Werewolf will not be familiar to you, they are all really good and gifted young actors. Especially Sonia Mietielica who portrays “Hanka” is truly mesmerizing. She is the oldest of the group and quickly becoming a young woman. This also means she is in constant danger of any men coming by.
No matter where the soldiers come from, they are never saviors for her. Instead, they just see a young woman that they can take. But Hanka fights back – and she does get help from others as well.
If you’ve watched the amazing Polish thriller The Hater on Netflix, then you’ll also recognize Danuta Stenka. While she was a diva in The Hater, she manages to give a completely raw performance, full of heart and compassion, in Werewolf. Seeing her in these two roles so close in time, really was eye-opening in terms of illustrating her talent.
You might like: Our review of the rather brilliant Netflix movie The Hater here >
Also, German actor Werner Daehn is in this movie. Yes, he plays a Nazi and does a very good job in very different ways. Werner Daehn has been in various international productions from xXx (2002) to Valkyrie (2008) and more recently Tom of Finland.
Check out Werewolf on DVD/Blu-ray & VOD now!
Werewolf was written and directed by the Polish filmmaker Adrian Panak. This is only his second feature film since debuting with Daas in 2011. Since then, Adrian Panak has also been working on TV series.
I didn’t know what to expect from this movie, but it manages to very quickly pull you into this dark universe and keep you there. You watch these children fight to survive. And yes, sometimes they do also fight one another. However, for the most part, they manage to survive by fighting towards a common goal: Getting food and water!
Before the end credits, you feel like you’ve been through the wringer with them – even though you obviously still have no way of understanding what it was like. This is the kind of horror-drama that works really well for me. Forget about demons or supernatural elements. Human beings will always be the scariest creatures around. Especially when they think no one is watching!
Werewolf (org. title Wilkolak) is out on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on December 1, 2020.
Director: Adrian Panek
Writer: Adrian Panek
Stars: Kamil Polnisiak, Nicolas Przygoda, Sonia Mietielica, Danuta Stenka, Werner Daehn, Jakub Syska, Helena Mazur
In Werewolf, children liberated from a Nazi concentration camp have to overcome hunger, thirst and vicious attack dogs in abandoned mansion surround by the forest.
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