The Movie Waffler New Release Review [Shudder] - TEDDY | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [Shudder] - TEDDY

teddy review
A young outsider experiences changes after being bitten by a wolf.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Ludovic Boukherma, Zoran Boukherma

Starring: Anthony Bajon, Ludovic Torrent, Christine Gautier, Noémie Lvovsky, Guillaume Mattera

teddy poster

If you've ever wondered how a werewolf movie made by Bruno Dumont might play out, the Boukherma brothers provide a close answer with Teddy. Like Dumont's recent comedies, Teddy is set in an insular, small rural French community. Here we're in the sunny South rather than Dumont's windy North, but with its cast of distinctive looking amateurs and dry as desert sand humour, it's very much snapped off the Dumont mould.

teddy review

Our titular anti-hero (Anthony Bajon) is a 19-year-old heavy metal loving edgelord. He's something of an outsider in his small town, likely of his own making. When we meet him first he's disrupting the unveiling of a WWII commemoration, something the town's elders don’t take to kindly to. Teddy's life seems a little grim – he lives with a demented uncle who walks around in his boxers wielding a shotgun, and he works in a massage parlour where he's routinely sexually harassed by his middle-aged boss – but he seems content with his lot. This is largely due to his girlfriend, Rebecca (Christine Gauthier), who seems notably out of his league.

Teddy is searching for adventure however, and he finds it when his town becomes menaced by a wolf preying on the local livestock. One night Teddy chases after the animal in the woods, but when he emerges he's received a nasty bite. No prizes for guessing what happens next. Soon Teddy is growing hair in embarrassing places and munching a little too hard on his girlfriend's privates. As his bloodlust develops, the whole town finds itself under threat.

teddy review

Save for its distinct setting, there isn't much here that will be new to fans of lycanthrope cinema. Teddy's transformation echoes that of everyone from Lon Chaney Jr to David Naughton. But the film that borrows his name has none of the foggy atmosphere of The Wolfman or the biting humour of An American Werewolf in London. Like its backwater setting, the film is initially intriguing, but you wouldn't want to spend too much time there. Halfway through, after developing an admittedly interesting and novel protagonist, the Boukherma twins seem to run out of ideas. The staging of the climax will likely cause groans from anyone hoping to see a wolf run riot.

teddy review

While Teddy doesn't quite land, there's no doubt a lot of talent on display here. As directors, the Boukhermas have done a remarkable job of mining performances from a largely inexperienced cast. With their DP Augustin Barbaroux, they've captured a sort of beauty in the drudgery of rural France. It's leading man Bajon who leaves the greatest impression, his awkward charm going a long way to humanising a character that could have easily just been a one-note, annoying teen archetype. If the Boukhermas can find some more original and insightful material to lend their talents to, they could be filmmakers to watch.

Teddy is on Shudder from August 5th.

2021 movie reviews