Cub (Welp) 2014 – Review

More often than not, foreign productions are a real breath of fresh air to the horror genre, which has seen many cliché ridden and exhausting works. With that being said, Jonas Govaerts’ Cub – set in the Belgium countryside – is a true gem of horror and even though he introduces once again the generic and rather dull story of the horror in the woods, this very talented director/writer manages to make it stand out from the pile, offering an action-packed flick that shouldn’t be missed.

The story follows Sam ( Maurice Luijten), a 12-year-old boy scout with a wildly mysterious past, who embarks upon a summer-camp outing along with his fellow cub scouts and their three twenty-something leaders. The two male leaders, the always-up-for-a-fight Baloo ( Stef Aerts) and the kind-hearted Akela (Titus De Voogdt) spice things up when they come up with the scary camp-story of Kai, a creature half boy/half werewolf, that lurks in the very woods they’ll go camping.

Sam, who seems fragile on the outside and is constantly bullied not only by his fellow cub scouts but by Baloo as well, gets really affected by the story and stays alert in order to protect himself from the blood-thirsty creature.

Once they arrive at the site, Sam immediately becomes aware that they are not alone. The scrawny figure of a young boy wearing a mask made of barks begins to terrorize Sam, who is treated with great disbelief and mockery from the entire group. What started as a fun adventure ends up in a sheer bloodbath. As the story progresses and the characters unravel their own personality quirks, it becomes clear that Kai is not the only threat they should be on the lookout for.

It seems that the first half is only an introduction of what will follow and even though it lacks gore and blood it’s still quite interesting, as the moody atmosphere and the chilling ambiance of the menacing woods form a compelling setting. The second half of Cub is a real audience pleaser, as the level of gore and tension rises. Govaerts has a few pleasant plot twists for us, which certainly make the outcome even more satisfying.

Govaerts clearly wanted to create something different from what we’ve all seen innumerable times before. In a way, he succeeds in that by avoiding overwrought tropes and recycled themes. Cub is a well-thought production with strong performances and even though it’s not a horror masterpiece, it is certainly an enjoyable choice.

And to quote Dorothy in Jerry Maguire: “You Had me at hello”. A very rare 7/10

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Comments
6 Responses to “Cub (Welp) 2014 – Review”
  1. thycriticman says:

    Just bought this gem today. Glad you enjoyed it too

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks very intense ha! Will have to track down a copy.
    E

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really looking forward to this one. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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