Werewolf

Canada 2016. Dir: Ashley McKenzie. 78 min. DCP

The hardscrabble existence of two homeless addicts is portrayed with sensitivity and brutal honesty in Nova Scotia filmmaker Ashley McKenzie’s powerful debut feature. Doggedly and courageously refusing to romanticize its characters’ lives, Werewolf is shot in oblique close-ups that capture the disorientation and frustration of young junkies Blaise and Vanessa. Sleeping in tents, fighting with government bureaucrats, the two survive by harassing people to let them cut their grass with the rusty old mower they haul over dirt roads and through rainstorms. Such scenes capture the futility and struggle in their lives with startling power, like some crack-addled version of the Stations of the Cross. McKenzie and her actors skilfully inspire empathy in us even as we find the characters’ actions perplexing and troubling. Werewolf confirms the promise of McKenzie’s acclaimed short films. — Steve Gravestock, TIFF


COARSE LANGUAGE; DRUG USE; VIOLENCE
PERSONS UNDER 14 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT

 

REVIEWS

"A startling, out-of-nowhere film, and an intoxicating first feature from a rising filmmaker ... Truly memorable."

The Playlist | full review