Wildling is a 2018 American horror feature film directed by Fritz Böhm from a screenplay co-written with Florian Eder. It stars Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif and Bel Powley.
Anna (Bel Powley) spends her entire childhood under the care of a mysterious man she only knows as Daddy (Brad Dourif). He keeps her locked in an attic making her fear the Wildling, a child-eating monster that roams the outside.
Now aged sixteen-years-old, Anna is freed by small-town sheriff Ellen Cooper (Liv Tyler) who helps her start a new life as a normal teenager. However, as Anna’s body begins to blossom, her childhood nightmares return with a vengeance, leading to the conclusion of a terrifying secret…
“As Bohm — assisted by vivid visuals from Get OutDP Toby Oliver — steers Wildling careens toward its gruesome, hallucinatory climax, the film loses something in logic but gains a visceral, almost volcanic momentum; a monster movie that refuses to soothe the savage beast, or send anyone home to sweet dreams.” Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
“Wildling tells a familiar tale that needs strong characterizations and relatable sentiment – however fantastically it’s presented – in order to work…or at least some striking visuals. With curious fluctuations in tone, questionable motivations, a dull look and jagged editing that takes us out of potentially affecting moments, this tall tale feels slight.” Blake Crane, Film Pulse
“Starting out strong, viewers are given a rewarding plot twist at the end of the first act. There is some promise in the second act, but the plot gets a bit ambition and almost feels like it should be a separate movie. The third act has some resolution but takes a more fantastical approach to the plot that started out as true-crime-turned-creature-feature.” Maggie Iken, Frightday
“Working with DP Toby Oliver (Get Out), along with Eder’s design team, Bohm excels at staging the film’s more darkly ominous scenes, but once the action moves into the forest the concluding segments don’t receive the same attention to detail. With a creature as impressive as the Wildling to carry the movie, though, that might not be much of a concern.” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
“Wildling offers a darker, artier take on one of the classic horror premises: the misunderstood adolescent monster. Like “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and “Ginger Snaps,” the film uses a ferocious metamorphosis as a metaphor for puberty. Freed from her jailer’s chemical control, Anna gets hairier and lustier.” Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times
“Anna’s first outdoor encounter with sunlight, her interactions with high school classmates and her budding romantic interest in Ellen’s younger brother (Collin Kelly-Sordelet) make up the best scenes in the movie, which suffers as much as she does when she turns into a special effect.” Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“The film itself is beautiful- the cinematography is great and in terms of color, there are a lot of darkness-vs-light type aspects. You can tell how someone is feeling based on the color, not necessarily their dialogue or their actions. The entire film makes you feel from start to finish, which is rare.” Nightmarish Conjurings