This film from Israel is described as a “comedy horror”. The premise goes something like this: three young girls go missing and the prime suspect is set free after the police make a mess of the investigation. Two people decide to take things into their own hands – a father of one of the dead girls, and the cop who lost his job because of the botched investigation. Both go after the suspect–a school teacher–seeking a confession for the crimes they think he has committed.
The “horror” comes from the nature of the crimes, and the violence that ensues in the search for answers. The “comedy” can be found in the dialogue and the interactions between the characters and this is where the filmmakers demonstrate considerable skill. Too much and you’re on the wrong side of absurd, too little and it doesn’t really count for much. Writers/directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado maintain a fine balance throughout the movie.
Big Bad Wolves is as much about the plot as the experience of watching the film. The mystery is enough to inspire curiosity and the characters and their interactions are strong and varied enough to keep you engrossed as they search for answers. The movie doesn’t slack, and the camera does not look away. The pain inflicted on the character(s) is visceral and the anticipation of it is sometimes so intense you find yourself either laughing nervously or covering your eyes.
Final Analysis: Big Bad Wolves is engaging enough that you overlook some basic plot holes (like how the teacher became a suspect in the first place). Be warned, this is not for the faint-hearted. So if blood, gore, burning-by-blowtorch are not elements you can handle in your movie-watching, give this one a miss.
My advice: Seek this one out as soon as you can, it is a very fine example of genre cinema and proves yet again that Quentin Tarantino has good taste.