In Nybo, Norway, teenage girl, Thale, heads to an outdoor party to spend time with her friends. A short while later, she breaks away from the main group to get a bit of space in the woods.
Suddenly, she hears a noise and witnesses a terrifying sight. Two of her friends are lay on the ground, covered in blood from what looks like a horror scene.
As she rushes to get to them, Thale is attacked and bitten by an unseen creature. That same creature then drags one of her friends into the bushes and mauls her to death.
When the police arrive to investigate the incident, it appears as if the teens fell victim to a vicious wolf. But this is no ordinary wolf, it appears to be something much darker, and now that it has bitten Thale, she faces an uncertain future.
Directed and co-written by Stig Svendsen, Viking Wolf (aka Vikingulven) is a Norwegian teen horror movie which centres around werewolf mythology. The film stars Elli Rhiannon Müller Osborne and Liv Mjönes, and is available to stream on Netflix from today.
If you’re a fan of werewolves, then you may wish to check out Viking Wolf as it is a well-made piece, which looks good and ticks all the right boxes for fans of this particular strand of horror. The movie also features some great cinematography, decent performances, and an even tone.
However, while Viking Wolf is a perfectly serviceable film, which is in no way bad, it doesn’t really do anything we haven’t all seen before. The Ginger Snaps movies from the ‘00s have already covered the ‘teen girl transformation’ metaphor utilised in this film, while pictures such as An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Dog Soldiers (2002) have pretty much nailed everything else.
To put it simply: While all the nuts and bolts are here in Viking Wolf, and everything is moving as it should, there’s not a great deal of originality. The film is also a bit of a slow burn, with little in the way of spectacle to gloss over its well-worn premise.
On the plus side, things do pick up in the action department towards the end of the movie, with the last 25-minutes offering up some much-needed excitement. However, the film leans into a fair bit of CGI during its climax, and this creates a disconnect between the lead character and the action on screen.
While it is fun to see the film finally delivering a bit of excitement, it seems to come at the expense of characterisation, and the desire for a quick finish. As such, all the teen-wolf stuff that has been slowly building up in the background suddenly gets jettisoned, as the story attempts to wrap everything up as neatly as possible.
While Viking Wolf is mostly fine, it isn’t something which stands out from the crowd. This is sadly a standard werewolf movie, which provides some entertainment, but I doubt it will linger in the mind once the credits roll.
However, it is watchable, and as mentioned above, if you like werewolf movies then it may be for you. Just don’t expect to be bowled over by it.
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