Teddy review wince-inducing French werewolf horror – The Guardian

Teddy. The name is all wrong for the teenager at the centre of this French arthouse horror: a shaven-headed heavy metaller. Teddy is not cuddly nor particularly lovable, but he does turn furry by the light of the full moon. Hes a werewolf, though young film-making brothers Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma are too classy and sensible to reveal much more than a flash of bony wolf-foot when Teddy transforms.

The film is in fact a supremely confident genre dice and splice from the Boukhermas: a social realist body-horror black comedy with elements of coming-of-age drama. It reminded me a bit of Julia Ducournaus cannibal movie Raw, but Im not sure its got quite as much to say. Anthony Bajon is electrifying as Teddy, a high school dropout from a poor family. He lives with his disabled aunt and heavy-drinking uncle (Ludovic Torrent); Were the village idiots, says Teddy. Knowing what everyone in town thinks of his family, Teddy petulantly acts up to the part of mindless yob. He is also the worlds worst temp at massage parlour Ghislaines Nimble Fingers, where owner Ghislaine (Nomie Lvovsky) is a lazily predictable stereotype of the gagging-for-it middle-aged woman.

To be fair, most of the characters in the film are pretty hapless, Fargo-style. More funny than Ghislaine are the sleepy local cops investigating a spate of attacks on sheep, which locals believe is the work of a wolf. One night, Teddy goes in the woods and comes out with puncture marks on his back. Next thing you know he is waking up naked covered in blood, with no idea how it got there. Then comes the body hair: the moment he removes a single strand growing out of his eyeball is wince-inducingly horrible.

The Boukhermas dont sink their teeth into the question of whether the lycanthropy is a metaphor for Teddys rage. But their movie ends with a scene of Carrie-style carnage that shows their potential to be cinemas brothers grim.

Teddy is released on 5 August on Shudder.

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Teddy review wince-inducing French werewolf horror - The Guardian

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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