It is a film with powerful meaning, but underwhelming execution, giving it a very mediocre outright tone
Occasionally, hidden within the bounds of a low-budget horror or thriller title, there is an absolute gem of a film, possessing real conviction and a powerful script. Wildling probably isn’t that film, but there are good ideas behind it with some particularly intriguing execution, giving it a slight edge over other films of a similar nature.
Anna (Bel Powley) is hidden away from society by her controlling father for most of her childhood. He frightens her with stories from the outside about the Wildling, a creature that eats small children. Yet when he dies, Anna must integrate with society, and the changes that happen to her body do more than terrify her new guardian, Sheriff Ellen Cooper (Liv Tyler).
The film centres much around the partnership between Anna and Ellen, making it far more emotional than the majority of its contemporaries. On the whole, this becomes a great asset for Wildling as it converts an otherwise lacking script into one with powerful ideas around ageing and coming of age.
The conversion Anna goes through into becoming a woman, albeit an extreme one, is a change that really highlights how drastic negative attitudes towards female ageing can be. What WIldling has to say is important and interesting, but the way it says them is not.
It is a film with powerful meaning, but underwhelming execution, giving it a very mediocre outright tone. Much of it is needless and unenjoyable, but it does offers some interesting insight into an increasingly feminist population. It doesn’t do what it set out to, but it pushes the ball slightly further down the hill. Slightly.
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