13 May 2015

CUB (/SLASH 1/2 Mini-Festival, 2015)

CUB

Original Title:
Welp

German Title:
Camp Evil

Belgium, 2014
Director: Jonas Govaerts

6/10





The IndieGogo-backed "Cub", full-length debut of young filmmaker Jonas Govaerts, is one of the very first true Belgian horror films ever made (next to the works of Fabrice du Welz and a couple of cult classics like "Rabid Grannies" or "Daughters of Darkness"), following young Sam, a regularly bullied boy-scout-slash-outcast who befriends a flesh-hungry feral child who hides in the Belgian backwoods and terrorizes everyone who's coming through.


For the greater part, "Cub" is a wonderfully entertaining little shocker that pays homage to the camp-slashers of the 80s by taking the basic premise of classics like "Friday the 13th" or "Sleepaway Camp" and twisting it a bit around: scouts and scout leaders instead of horny teenagers, mysterious semi-creatures and brutally effective booby traps, instead of axe-wielding masked maniacs.

Most of the acting is spot-on (especially Titus De Voogdt and Noa Tambwe Kabati), the retro synth score gives the movie a fabulous 80s feeling
(Steve Moore, "The Guest"), there's lots of gory kills, lots of pretty intense suspense, some super-cool-looking locations (eerie forests, the feral boy's bizarre-looking 'timber nest', several, erm, 'underground bus wrecks'...), ace lighting, stellar cinematography (Nicolas Karakatsanis, "The Drop"), some fun with fat policemen and French douchebags, and one of the nastiest, meanest dog kills in horror history.


Unfortunately, despite all the overall awesomeness, "Cub" suffers from a weak screenplay that actually starts out great, but ends up messy as hell. Yes, Govaerts and his co-writer Roel Mondelaers had a lot of ideas... and yes, they put them all into the screenplay... and, no, they had no idea how to bring them all together in a coherent and believable way. Instead of putting all the events, sub-plots and side-characters together to a satisfying conclusion, they just haphazardly mixed it together to a really lame-ass mess that ends up with a clich├ęd, worn out, foreseeable and pointless plot twist that made me go "Oh come on, are you fucking kidding me??"

With better writing and a more coherent screenplay, "Cub" could have been an instant Euro-horror-classic. Yet, the way it eventually turned out to be,
it is just okay.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome! Glad to see you enjoyed this at least in a bit! I liked it more than you did, though, and I wish I had a Kai's tree house/ nest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! This was the only /Slash flick this year where all 6 of our gang thought the same: good, but underwhelming.

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