Movie Review - Cub

Movie Review - Cub

Over the past few months I have had the distinct pleasure of reviewing several upcoming horror films from Artsploitation Films out of Philadelphia, and Jonas Govaerts latest film,  Cub, is absolutely no exception. Just released on DVD on August 18th, Cub is a gritty and gory masterpiece that will keep you guessing until the film's shocking conclusion. Co-written with Roel Mondelaers, the movie pits childhood naivety against a violent and harsh reality, and the contrast is haunting. Brought to life by the extremely realistic performances of the stellar cast, the film makers immerse us into the action while slowly building the tension in beautiful slow burning style. Now available from Artsploitation Films, I highly recommend Cub to any fan of the genre. It will leave you speechless. 

Sam is an emotionally disturbed young man, headed out for a weekend of camping with the local Cub Scout troop. Before the children leave, their troop leaders gather the children to scare them with an urban legend of a young boy named Kai who lives in the woods, waiting to prey on unsuspecting campers. And though the story is nothing more than a legend, when Sam starts to see strange things in the woods, he becomes convinced that it might not be a story after all.

The entire ensemble is absolute perfection, but the entire film is anchored by the subtle and nuanced performance of the young Maurice Luijten as Sam. His ability to convey waves of emotion through his expressive face is captivating. He evokes our sympathy masterfully, and we feel his alienation and desperation to fit in. But as the bullying from his fellow scouts and scoutmasters piles on, we see a change in him. A darkness that begins to consume him completely. And the result is a harrowing look at what can happen when a child is pushed to his breaking point.

Writer / Director Jonas Govaerts and co-writer Roel Modelers explore some deeply disturbing territory in their first feature length film. They've managed to craft a slasher film that is as unsettling as it is poignant. The movie feels carefully measured and deliberate until the film's final act takes a sharp right turn, and then suddenly the pace feels unrelenting. I don't want to say much more, for fear of spoiling the ending. But suffice to say, I was completely caught off guard. This film is highly recommended to all fans of the genre. This is an imaginative take on the formulaic slasher film that feels completely authentic. Go to the Artsploitation Films website to order yours today. Cheers. 

Grade: B+

- Leo Francis