Big Bad Wolves
A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings - a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.
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★★★½ review by Todd Gaines on Letterboxd
A missing young girl brings a renegade cop and a grieving father together to find out the shocking truth behind her disappearance in this tense and daring Israeli psychological thriller chiller. A game of Hide N' Seek that sets the mood for the entire film. Red shoe clue. Why do creepy peeper guys always wear argyle sweaters? Mini boss man. The candy trail. An absolute horror that's every parent's worst nightmare. Micki's leather jacket is badass. Posting shit on YouTube can get you into trouble. Flirtatious real estate agent. Scream test. The music freaks me out. Doggie growl. Birthday candles. If you get hit in the head with a shovel it might give you a concussion. A Grimm's Fairy Tale you shouldn't read to kids. The way Gidi pronounces his words. Basements scare me. Coin flips should be used to solve the world's problems. Finger break. When your mom calls you at the worst possible time. Hammer fun. Cooking relaxes you. Just ask Dr. Hannibal Lecter if you don't believe me. Could Dror be Big Bad Wolves's version of Paul Dano's character in Prisoners? You need to watch the film to find out the answer, but I will tell you he gets beat up in a way Paul would appreciate. Blowtorches will fuck a motherfucker up. Daddy confusion. A satisfying smoke. Old people do some of the craziest shit. Yummy cake! Digging for answers. A very funny moment in an extremely tense film. A saw Jigsaw would approve of. A twist I'm sure as fuck not going to talk about that makes this little film from Israel even more creepy. Holy fuck! You might think of Prisoners as you watch Big Bad Wolves, but it's a tad bit more dark and disturbing. The music is pitch-perfect for a psychological thriller. Sometimes the darkest films have characters that could be real and it makes the film even more scary. Big Bad Wolves isn't perfect, but it's very tense throughout. You're never really sure who the Big Bad Wolf really is, and the film keeps you confused and on the edge of your seat in anticipation. You will probably still be guessing when the final credits roll. Recommended for fans of tense psychological thrillers with a hint of horror in them.
★★★★★ review by Naughty aka Juli Norwood on Letterboxd
Pitch black vengeance film that waves its freak flag like there is no tomorrow! Clever, thought provoking film that blurs the lines between Good and Evil! Deliciously demented with its mix of gratuitous violence, torture and wicked bits of humor!
Big Bad Wolves has the Huff and Puff, and Wicked Bad Stuff to blow you away!
★★★★½ review by bree1981 on Letterboxd
An Israeli film that's part twisty Coenesque thriller and part pitch black fairy tale. An ominous almost dreamlike opening see's a young girl go missing while playing hide and seek with two friends leaving only a red shoe behind. We are then introduced to our three main characters, Micki (Lior Ashkenazi) is a disgraced cop who was in charge of the investigation but failed miserably in his pursuit of the lead suspect Dror (Rotem Keinan), a mild mannered high school teacher who Micki is convinced is guilty but doesn't have the evidence to prove it while Gidi (Tzadi Grad) is the father of the missing girl, a former Lebanese intelligence officer who has more than one way to get a suspect to talk. These three men are on a brutal collision course for the truth in this tense and suspenseful thriller.
Despite the grim subject matter and bloody violence on show there's a rich vein of dark humour running through the film with some of it almost becoming farcical but this really adds to the unsettling tone. The three lead performances are all superb with Grad being the standout, his intense stare almost hides the fact that he is fast loosing his sanity. The film keep's you guessing until the very last frame and also features a wickedly dark ending.
Quentin Tarantino claimed this was his favourite film off 2013 and I wouldn't argue with him, a real roller coaster of a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout and one everyone should make a point of seeing.
★★★★ review by Cindy T on Letterboxd
You may have read that Quentin Tarantino proclaimed Big Bad Wolves to be the best film of 2013. After seeing it, I understand why he would say it: the film is like the kind of films he makes. It is a moralistic thriller/dark comedy in the same vein as Pulp Fiction. Is it the best film of 2013? No, in my opinion, it is not, but it is damn good. The story is engrossing. There is not a dull moment in it.
The story is about a murder of a young girl by a pedophile. A cop who doesn't play by the rules becomes determined to catch the killer on his own without the police chief's approval or knowledge. He has competition in hunting down the killer in the girl's father, a retired cop, who seeks vengeance. Blood vengeance, of course. Hell hath no fury like a father whose little girl has been murdered and mutilated!
Big Bad Wolves includes scenes of torture, but they are bearable because the torturer tells his victim what he is going to do before he does it. For some reason, that lessened the violence for me. I still squirmed in my seat, but I wasn't shocked by it like I was by the violence in Heli.
The humor in the film is sublime. To give one example: when the torturer is about to inflict serious pain on his victim, he is interrupted by a phone call from his mother. "Sorry, I have to take this," he tells the victim. The dark comedy in Big Bad Wolves is done supremely right.
If you enjoy Tarantino films, you will likely enjoy Big Bad Wolves. It is worth mentioning that the cinematography is impressive, particularly the opening sequence. I believe the film is available on VOD and on Netflix in certain countries. I recommend seeing the film in the theater if possible. It is a big screen experience.
★★★★½ review by Jim Drew on Letterboxd
Hugely impressive but not exactly flawless thriller from the Israeli team of Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado (RABIES).
A deliciously wicked way to close this year's FrightFest, this dark film quite bravely injects a lot of humour into what is a tough tale of vigilantism and revenge, but is it being meted out on the right person?
The art of appalling and amusing your audience in equal measure is no easy task, but these guys confidently meet the task. To also add some highly polished technical craft is close to pushing the film to perfection. Performances are great, particularly by one of our unhinged protagonists who plays a grieving father in a way quite unlike any I've seen before.
Gorehounds will get some kicks out of some gruesome scenes reminiscent of many torture-based horror films. The brilliant use of sound and music make them doubly effective, but will perhaps alienate viewers who use the 'torture porn' term freely.
The flaws I mention above involve contrivances in the story to keep the audience at arms length. A necessity perhaps but I can't help feel that they maybe wrote themselves into a slight hole but thankfully everything else is so good and funny, you can forgive it.
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