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Sometimes, the best way to scare your viewers is by resorting to classic horror themes of old. Nonetheless, these black and white Universal Classic Monsters that ruled the 1930s through the 1950s periods are no longer enough for today’s audience. It’s not as if such iconic names as mummies and vampires are unwelcome, but something new needs to happen with their now-typical plots in order to bring them back into focus.

A few days ago Jacques Molitor (Mammejong), European director and filmmaker released a movie that has tried to use this formula for creating stories as it changed the concept of werewolves from Wolfkin to Kommunioun. This hybrid fantasy-horror film starts off with an intimate cold open where Elaine, the female lead, and Patrick make love in a small clearing in a verdant forest. However, when he realizes that she is dissimilar from him and bolts away terrifiedly only for his transformation into a wolf later on revealing his true identity.

Elaine meets up again with another woman after some time who has a young son displaying strange behaviors which lean towards violent animals’ habits. A classmate at school is scratched by him while at his birthday party; he bites one of the invitees. Elaine suspects that this may be due to her child’s absent father and goes to see Patrick’s parents hoping they can help.

Beginning as an unconventional bildungsroman tale, it quickly becomes evident that this is also about how far away her family will go to keep her son well adjusted. In a little mansion somewhere out in rural Luxembourg, Louise Manteau flawlessly alters her emotions while facing life as a mother who doesn’t know how to help her boy overcome his situation.

In addition of Marco Lorenzini and Marja-Leena Junker playing haunting grandparents there is Myriam Muller presenting herself as Carla who knows everything around there. Jules Werner takes up the role of Patrick’s wild brother Jean and Yulia Chernyshkova makes Tatiana, Jean’s pregnant partner come alive.

Despite being an outsider, who has voluntarily merged into this secretive cult-like family, Chernyshkova’s character is just a way of revealing Jean volatile nature that will be further identified by his attitude toward Elaine. It is regrettable because other than that, every other presence in this international creature feature serves a double intertwining purpose en route to the film’s surprisingly epic and heart-warming but gory ending which can be appreciated by anyone who believes in keeping family values alive.

With all its rebirthed folklore and Christian family melodrama Wolfkin’s most seductive howl comes from young actor Victor Dieu as 10-year-old Martin, Elaine’s little boy who is growing older and becoming wiser through some terrifying means. His body language displays a hesitancy unseen in his dreams and there is an unspoken tension as he gradually walks through this new wayward personality.

At times he is just a baby boy who seeks for his mothers approval at every turn but sometimes, Martin indulges in very strange and malicious acts that break this same image. He is the most interesting part of this intense drama as people eventually discover that unlike children of his age, his turbulent growing up instead involves becoming something that human life did not intend.

That said, Wolfkin actually suffers the most through such scenes as well. Instead of showing zoom-in shots in those early moments when another personality takes over him and assaults classmates, we alternatively track the mother’s movement and engagement with him during both occasions. Watching his shock, shame and confusion might have evoked emotional responses from one’s watching which would have separated this film not only in terms of genre but as a stand out piece.

Just the dynamics between Elaine and Martin alone gives this movie enough thematic weight. A mother on her own struggling to keep her son away from society’s normalcy sounds like an intricate fantastic story that could relate easily to any parental situation today.

But by the third act Wolfkins family members bring up layers of themes which seem important at first but they fall off in importance at the end. Luckily, for these troubled times Elaine still has maternal instinct towards helping her son; however noxious religious overtones (suggested by the original title Kommunioun) or commentary on abusive relationships does not feel like it hit home when the first focal point remains as interesting as ever.

This fright fest certainly has its troubles on how neatly it organizes several ideas and beliefs that were meant for expression by cast crews; though ultimately Wolfkin is still essentially quite entertaining because it shows how far a mother will go to save her son—even if doing so brings chaos even closer home.

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