THERE IS DISCUSSION AND SPOILERS HERE! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Don’t kill the kid.
It’s one of the unspoken rules in horror films.
You can have bad kids, possessed kids, jerky kids, etc, etc.
Just don’t kill them.
Cub doesn’t follow the rules.
A Belgian film from co-writer and director Jonas Govaerts, Cub is the story of a group of scouts who are taken on a camping trip to the woods, where they encounter what may be the physical embodiment of Kai, a mythical child werewolf who inhabits the area.
Cub is stylishly shot, with strong performances from all the leads, including Maurice Luijten, who plays the quiet and bullied Sam, and who slowly befriends the mysterious Kai (Gill Eeckelaert). The relationship between all the Cub Scouts carries with it a Lord of the Flies vibe to it, and you’re never quite certain who’s will make it out of the forest alive.
That’s what helps make Cub so surprising in many ways – there are deaths, it happens to kids. I won’t spoil the who’s and how’s, but the film does make some bold storytelling decisions when it comes to death. It happens. And it makes sense. There’s a real world element to the situation, of kids out in the woods being stalked, and what would happen if this were to actually occur. It makes the film just a little more brave.
Not that I want to see kids die in horror films. In any films. And to be fair, the violence that occurs during Cub is somewhat offscreen, thankfully. Anything more would be too much. But there’s an element of believability in the violence occurring that, in a time when bullying is more rampant and topical than ever before, certainly makes the film resonate more than you may expect.
Cub is most definitely not for everyone – horror fans will enjoy it, but parents contemplating about putting their kids into cub scouts or brownies might feel just a little hesitant after watching this one.
Cub is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Canada and Raven Banner.