, , , , , , ,

There is something that I find instantly appealing about French films and the way it both challenges and delivers in-depth personality.
There are times that it misses the mark, sure… but there is genuinely a unique appeal to the country’s artistic lens.
This is why you shouldn’t be deterred by this quirky take on an age-old tale set in the heart of a rural French town.
While it certainly isn’t an out and out scare fest, there is something reminiscent about the film that taps into Guy Endore’s The Werewolf of Paris

The writing/directing partnership of the Boukherma brothers Ludovic and Zoran inject some decent humour into this coming of age tale, centred around no-hoper Teddy (Anthony Bajon), the town’s laughing stock.
Teddy may have resigned himself to making ends meet at the local massage parlour, but he has grand plans to save up and build a home for him and his girlfriend Rebecca (Christine Gautier).
These plans turn sour though when Teddy is attacked by a wolf that has been roaming the woods and then the stuff of lycanthropy come to the fore, starting with the amped up sexual appetite, and leading into the bizarre such as hair growth on his tongue and protruding from his eyeball.

As much as he tries to hide these strange bodily changes, it soon overcomes him and right at a time when Rebecca appears to be losing interest in him.
The one person who seems to understand his plight and warns about the dangers of the monster lurking within, is his foster parent, Pepin (Ludovic Torrent) an admittedly slow-thinking man.

What the Boukherma brothers do remarkably well is own the grit and realism of both the setting and the characters including the actors who portray them.
Particular applause has to go to Bajon’s portrayal of the titular character, perfectly capturing the heartache and desperation.
When you’re already down, there’s no place to go but deeper and embrace the animal within.

The Diagnosis:

Yes there are flaws.
But some of those blemishes are part of Teddy’s attraction and at times the film borders on genius.
It’s a bold approach to a mythological tale and while it doesn’t necessarily scare, it does provide a quirky, and sympathetic slant that will satisfy those into curiosity.

Saul Muerte

Teddy is currently streaming on Shudder ANZ