Wilding is a 2018 fantasy horror film directed by Fritz Bohm, who also wrote the screenplay for it alongside Florian Eder. It centers on Anna (Bel Powley), a girl trying to fit into her new free life not only as a teenager but also as a person under the stewardship of Ellen Cooper (Liv Tyler). This is because in a vast majority of her childhood she was confined in a basement in the woods by her mysterious guardian in ‘Daddy” (Brad Dourif) in the name of protecting her from a creature called the Wilding; a devourer of children.
As far as the acting performances are concerned, I’d say they elicited mixed reactions from me; there are a select few who give it their all considering the material at hand case in point Bel Powley as Hannah. Her character’s “fish out of water” story arc was great; she is oblivious to so many things that someone her age should be well conversant with for example having periods or even boy-girl relationships and thus what she goes through at this stage really makes you ponder over how dark her childhood must have been in isolation. It was great to see Liv Tyler on-screen after a long while; the last time I saw her was in 2008’s Incredible Hulk and being one of my favourite actresses in the business at the moment, I was not particularly drawn to her character as much I would have wanted to. She plays Sheriff Ellen Cooper who takes it upon herself to take care of Anna upon the girl’s freedom and basically her relationship with Hannah is one that I found very confusing; there are certain unacceptable things she lets Anna do not long after she takes her in despite the fact that this girl has not undergone psychological evaluation to assess whether she would ideally have the ability to blend in with her new environment especially from a social perspective. All in all, Sheriff Cooper wasn’t that bad but at the same time, the movie could have done more with her character.
I fervently beg to differ with quite a number of reviewers who claim that this film served its purpose; that this film is indeed a fantasy horror film. Well, people do get bitten in the neck a fair few times in a fashion that Dracula would be taking notes from but all the same, I don’t think the “horror” elements are enough to make this film worthy of brushing shoulders with the likes of 2001’s Jeepers Creepers, 2000’s Final Destination or even 2008’s Mirrors. Maybe I’m mistreating this movie, and I’d like to get your perspective on the issue in the comment section at the bottom of this page because personally, I always associate a horror film with well-executed jump scares and presence of high stakes; factors this movie was bereft of. Another bane of this movie’s existence is the lack of character development. Every other character, exclusive of Anna, Ellen Cooper and her brother Ray (Collin Kelly-Sordelet), was not worth investing your interest in; an issue which could have been avoided if the film had a considerably longer runtime.
In spite of my very critical sentiments in the latter paragraph, I strongly believe that you should take an initiative to see Wilding; I wouldn’t say it is plagued with flaws all through because there are moments I found interesting, like the “fish out of water” storyline as I mentioned previously and there are some bona fide moments that you can connect with as a viewer; for sure. That said, I did not find a lot of intrigues watching this film; there’s not much to it.