Karlovy Vary Film Review: ‘The True Adventures of Wolfboy’

Variety | 7/1/2019 | Peter Debruge
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Most teenage boys would kill for a few whiskers, but not Paul. At 13, he already has a full face of hair, and his peers treat him like a freak for it. So, too, does Martin Krejčí’s “The True Adventures of Wolfboy,” although the movie argues that perhaps being a freak isn’t such a bad thing. You just have to learn to ignore what other people think and embrace your inner other.

That’s an evergreen theme among YA movies — where bullies serve as bad guys, but lack of self-acceptance is the real obstacle to be overcome — and a useful lesson in such sensitive times. But is “Wolfboy” unique enough to make an impact? Working from a screenplay by playwright Olivia Dufault, Krejcí conjures a vision of Middle America in which magic and myth seem to exist alongside his characters, amplifying the interior struggle of his young protagonist, played by “It” star Jaeden Martell, who appears beneath a rather fetching face of fur.

Hypertrichosis - Call - Paul - Condition - Movie

Hypertrichosis. That’s what doctors call Paul’s condition, even if the movie never names it, preferring to treat Paul’s hirsute situation as a kind of fairy tale affliction. Practically speaking, building a film around a character whose features are covered in a thick coat of hair is a big risk, to say the least, though makeup effects guru Mark Garbarino (a prosthetics whiz who typically works on much bigger projects, from sci-fi series to Marvel movies) creates a look that holds up on camera, and comes across behind a mask that’s both convincing and kinda cute — although that may have to do with the way Martell emotes, mostly with his eyes, behind the furry mask. If puppies are typically more adorable than full-grown dogs, then “Wolfboy” should be more appealing than Lon Chaney’s “The Wolfman,” and so it...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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