Wilderness

WILDERNESS. 1996

Director: Ben Bolt

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Wilderness In this British made-for-TV mini-series redacted to movie-length, a psychiatrist (Michael Kitchen) would like to convince his patient Alice (Amanda Ooms) that she's not really a werewolf & so not really a danger to her hunky boyfriend (Owen Teale). But all too soon, she convinces the psychiatrist of her reality.

The original novel by Dennis Danvers was set mainly in the Canadian wilderness. By making it a UK setting in Scotland's last ancient forest, there arose a great falsity about the setting & it was a bit hard to let myself be entirely pulled into a film, knowing the last wolf in Scotland was killed in the 1700s.

The idea of Scotland's unspoiled Caledonian nature preserve providing space where wolves can live in peace was completely phony. They should've kept the Canadian setting.

WildernessThe film also seemed more Lady's Romance than Horror. It even inserts an intentionally whimsical feminist subtext with the werewolf a cipher for female liberation or independence.

Since "horror films for girls" aren't a dime a dozen, it's nice to see the effort made with a "werewolf chickflick," though too bad the story couldn't've been more exciting.

Still, Amanda Ooms is a rawboned tough beauty who really gets inside the role & writhes sexily as prelude to transformation, in scenes that required nudity such as would not make it onto American telefilms other than of cable.

Plus her wolf double is a real wolf rather than a dog tricked out like a wolf. The film tosses in some junior-league philosophy like "who are the real monsters, a mere werewolf, or the humans?" as our heroine struggles with a choice to become a wild animal forever.

If measured against commercial B-horror & imposing no greater expectation on it, it had enough originality to make it just about good-of-kind.

It's rather too bad the DVD release was a chopped down version of the original three-parter, as it's possible some of the hour's worth of missing material would've given the story the greater depth this film-length version seems only to wish it had.

Continue to animated werewolf shorts:
Werewolf of Detroit (2007) & others

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]