In some ways, this is a movie that might be better going into it, without knowing about the werewolf element. The start of the film sets itself up to be quite the thriller, before it takes that turn toward lycanthropy. Though, the turn is still early enough that knowing about it doesn't spoil anything and so it's thankfully possible to write a review of it, without giving away spoilers.
Wildling is the story of a young girl, Anna (Bel Powley) who is raised locked in a secluded cabin, by her sinister father. However, when she is finally found, she is forced to learn to live in our world, while also learning to live with the progressive changes of a young woman's body. All these changes are the forerunner to uncovering a secret about where she comes from and, ultimately, the future that lies ahead of her.
She is accompanied on this journey, by the local sheriff (played by Liv Tyler) and her brother (Collin Kelly-Sordelet).
Liv Tyler is the unexpected producer of this film and to my mind she has done a good job, making the movie really feel like a labour of love. Though, of course, we also have to give great credit to writers Fritz Böhm (who also directed the film) and Florian Eder. If these two can keep writing to this calibre, then I expect they'll bring us great things in the future.
Powley is charming in the lead role, effortlessly portraying a character who possesses both wide-eyed innocence and a notable intellect. Brad Dourif plays the part of “daddy”, striking an uncomfortable balance between sinister and caring.
Certain elements of Wildling (werewolf, if you prefer) biology, as they are depicted, are a little questionable. Though, we can easily overlook that, thanks to everything else having a generally realistic tone – or at least as realistic as one can be when dealing with things like werewolves.
The creature effects and make-up are on point, which is the final factor that sells it.
Worth checking out, especially for fans of the genre. Though, perhaps best left for DVD or rental, rather than the cost of a cinema ticket. But even if you do choose the big screen, you'll still enjoy it.