Friday 6 December 2013

"Big Bad Wolves" (The Guardian 06/12/13)

Big Bad Wolves (18) 110 mins ***

This confidently handled horror-thriller from Israeli writer-directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado provides a somewhat glib retort to September’s ponderous Prisoners, adopting a queasily black-comic tone in setting out its own three-hander involving a rogue cop, a suspected pederast, and the vengeful father of a dead young girl. We soon fear the worst, and are suckered into staying by some semi-clever delaying tactics: early exteriors concealing the fact everyone’s heading towards a single-set torture dungeon, phonecalls that dispatch the characters on wild goose chases just as fingernails are set to be extracted. The actors lend it a sick heft, and there are droll, region-specific footnotes – like the estate agent keen to sell the dungeon cheap as it backs onto Arab land – but one senses the sniggering filmmakers playing variably funny games with our phobia of paedophiles, rather than having anything lasting to say about it.
Big Bad Wolves opens in selected cinemas from today.

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