Call of the Wolf is a movie full of surprises. I first thought that this is going to be another lame and formulaic thriller, so I clanged to the beautiful snow environment and a bad guy with a sniper, expecting to be bored pretty soon. That didn’t happen, but lets start at the beginning: Call of the Wolf is a movie with an estimated budget of $20,000 and a relatively unknown cast. This is also the first feature movie for the director R.D. Womack II (I know), a thriller about a serial killer who calls himself Wolf, hellbent on getting some target practice with human targets. You can see how all this spells caution. Working with a tight budget, they managed to create a movie that looks really cool, with a decent amount of those juicy wide-shots and fly-overs. You will soon not notice that it doesn’t have that luxurious look that you’re used to and only some of the action scenes will remind you of that. Great camera work with enough weird angles and intelligent use of light (lantern scenes) more than made up for that.

Call Of The Wolf 2017 Movie PosterLester, a spoiled brat who just glided through life on the money that his family has, finds himself alone and tied up in a unknown room. He soon breaks free and realizes that he’s miles from civilization, in a relatively cozy cabin, surrounded just by woods and snow. After he found a rifle and some bullets,  the walkie-talkie that was also on the table rang. It rang with the call of the wolf (is that good ending or what).

The acting was something I would call accidentally great. Alexander struggled a bit with some of the scenes, but was really good and engaging during the important parts. Also, I must mention some of his action antics that on a first glance were really unintentionally funny (along with Wolfs french), almost slapstick in nature, but just two seconds later serious and depressing (just as that empathy settled). The only real problem that this movie has is pacing (ingenious idea: break the movie into parts to help with this), because that slow-burner gimmick is extremely hard to accomplish. In order for it to fully function, viewers mood must be kept in an almost constant state of tension. This is where the story and the dialogue should jump in and help. And they did, with the conversations going as you would expect them to go for the first minute or two and then breaking out in a glorious third level rants, addressing all the issues that the viewer had by now and resolving them.

Now let me take you on a journey to the third level and make this movie a bit more interesting to you. While the main issues here are anger and injustice that Wolf feels, especially towards that ungrateful and spoiled Lester, we can freely delve even deeper. Their connection is a twisted father-son bond, full of superiority, inferiority and whole bunch of other complexes, where they are using what is at hand to resolve them, whether it be by murder or something else. Military mantra, obsession with rules and masculinity (can you make a fire) all come into play, especially with the introduction of a female character. I know a lot of you (me included) try to avoid low-budget movies because 90% of them are just milking garbage. The thing is that you’re missing that “first blood magic” of real indie movies, because the whole indie genre has been kidnapped by the mainstream. So, if you want to see something refreshing and yet familiar, answer the call of the wolf (I just had to do it).

P.S.S. (postscript spoilers): This is a pacing-related not so much an issue, but an advice. It deals with a human psyche and the flow of the movie, best examined in the discovery of the second cabin. Humans generally like to ride the roller-coaster of the emotions, especially when they’re watching a movie. This is the breaking of the established setup (there’s just one cabin, there are no people nearby) and the breaking of that concept in the minds of the viewers(he was convinced in one thing and he was wrong, maybe I am wrong about some things in my life). To cut the story short, to better illustrate the point just imagine that in that scene camera pulls upwards and we see a whole bunch of cabins scattered in the forest, with little red splatters in front of them… This gives the viewer that wow effect and releases tension (I’m not even mad, that’s amazing) but it also has to be secretly woven into the story to be successful.

P.S.R. (postscript recommendation) If you liked that walkie-talkie dynamic you can also check out Joy Ride [2001]

Director: R.D. Womack II

Writer: R.D. Womack II

Cast: Aleksander Ristic, Cynthia Bravo, Matthew Oliva

Fun Facts: Cast and Crew had to be shuttled to and from set via snowmobiles; the location was too remote to be accessible by cars during the winter.

Rating:

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3188492/

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