“Big Bad Wolves” is a film that’s hard to put under one classification because it has elements of horror, comedy and suspense built carefully into it.
Directors Aharon Keshales and Novot Papushado, masterfully create the second horror film to come out of Israel since their first film “Rabies” back in 2010.
A child killer is on the loose leaving families and police hungry to see justice done to the person responsible.All fingers point at Dror (Rotem Keinan) a well-to-do schoolteacher whose life is pulled apart by vicious rumors surrounding the child murders.
Tired of all of the unsolved murders, hardboiled cop Miki (Lior Ashkenazi) looks for answers, not afraid to break a few noses or fingers to get them.
After the latest child is found brutally murdered Gidi (Tzahi Grad) seeks revenge and a confession.Gidi rents a house in the woods with a soundproof basement, and gets some tools and a chair ready to get to the bottom of who killed his daughter.
All three lives are thrown together in a violent circle that gets more desperate and depraved as it goes on.
Keshales and Papushado masterfully craft “Wolves” with usage of beautiful pallets of color and symmetry in images that could be still-framed and hung on a wall.
There are hidden chunks of subtext scattered throughout dealing with what powerful forces rumors can have, revenge as a device for blind coping and scapegoating someone in the eye of doubt.
“Wolves” is a busy film that mixes several styles into one, but for once this sort of busy in a film is a very good thing.
“We wanted to make a film about a suspected pedophile and that his life is being shattered by the rumors, his wife doesn’t want to talk to him, he can’t see his children and then he gets fired from work. And we decided that’s one kind of film we wanted to make, then we wanted to make another one, a “Dirty Harry” kind of movie, and then we decided we wanted to make another one we wanted to make a Korean revenge thriller, so then we decided let’s do all three at the same time,” Keshales said.
It’s easy to compare this film to filmmaker greats like Tarantino or the Coen Brothers because there are small sensibilities that can be seen. The film deserves more, however it takes things in directions that leave audiences in unfamiliar territory, leaving your compass spinning.
Keshales and Papushado are two filmmakers that are carving their own path paying homage to some of their heroes while absolutely bringing something new to the cinema.
“Wolves” is an instant genre classic that begs to be viewed multiple times to catch not only plot points but the comedic style that some might not be used to.
“Wolves” is big and bad and definitely falls on my top 10 for 2013.