I absolutely love horror films that have kids in them. Not teens, but kids, from the age 12 and down. Why, you might ask? Because this makes the terror and the tension in a horror movie even more palpable. Maybe this stems from me being a parent…but when kids are involved, my anxiety level skyrockets. For this reason, I knew I wanted to check out CUB the minute I saw its press release. And I’m sure glad I gave it a look, too. The film is a unique and impressive horror flick that deserves your attention.
If you are not familiar with CUB, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Artsploitation Films:
This dark, bloody, imaginative fairy tale about a camping trip that turns into deadly carnage draws on such influences as Lord of the Rings, Friday the 13th and The Devil’s Backbone. The story follows 12-year-old outcast Sam who, along with his troop of cub scouts and their teenage supervisors, camp in woods rumored to house a mysterious and deadly werewolf. Inquisitive Sam, certain the woods are inhibited by something evil, soon stumbles upon a feral young boy and, eventually, his evil psychopathic mentor. But convincing the others of the danger falls on deaf ears, and soon ingenious traps begin to take their violent toll on the group. A wildly entertaining “killer in the woods” actioner.
This is the first Flemish horror film, from what I understand…and it’s a heck of a debut. The movie takes hold of you from the start and never lets go. It is well made, and I will wager the horror community will be hearing much more of director Jonas Govaerts in the future.
CUB is shot well and looks great onscreen. The production team does a great job of capturing the desolate wilderness in which the events take place. This feeling of isolation dramatically increases the suspense, as we (the audience) truly believe these scouts have nowhere to go.
The acting is great, too. I am particularly impressed with Maurice Luijten, who portrays the main character, Sam. Luijten does an excellent job with this role, and I hope to see more of him in the future.
The story in CUB is pretty straightforward, with the only vague aspect being the motive behind the killings. But it’s the execution of the film that wins me over here. Chocked full of mystery and intensity, this is one movie I will definitely revisit in the near future.
CUB is a major win for me, and I suggest checking it out soon. It is available now in a variety of formats, but try to give it a look on Blu-ray; you’ll appreciate the HD picture and sound.