Directed by Craig Strachan [Other horror films: N/A]
As far as I can tell, there’s only a few things going for Wild Country, and none of them are enough to pull the movie up above average, or even anywhere close.
For one, I do appreciate the fact it’s a Scottish movie – gives it a bit more flavor, and though the accents take a bit to get used to, subtitles were in the copy I watched, so it was never too difficult to decipher the conversations. Related, this was filmed somewhat near Glasgow, and the fields and such did look quite beautiful and pastoral.
The special effects are pretty good here, especially for a lower-budget picture. It’s never the main focus, but you do see throats ripped out, a guy almost chomped in half (with some ribcage showing), and a few gory aftermaths here and there. Again, it’s never the focus, but for what they had, the special effects weren’t shabby at all. The werewolf design, though, is a different question.
Lastly, and this might be what draws most people to this film, you have about 15 minutes of Peter Capaldi. I know Capaldi best from his run as The Doctor on Doctor Who – I always felt he was an underrated Doctor who was dealt iffy stories. Seeing him here was sort of amusing (and it’s worth mentioning that while I have seen this before, when I first saw it, I didn’t know who Capaldi was), but he only pops up at the beginning and the final ten minutes minutes, so he doesn’t really add that much aside from the value of seeing a familiar face.
Samantha Shields did pretty good as the lead, and though she didn’t have much experience, her performance here was quite decent. She worked well with Martin Compston, who also stood out positively. As for the other three central performances, being Nicola Muldoon, Kevin Quinn, and Jamie Quinn, I had no great issues with them, but they didn’t really add a whole lot to the movie.
Being a lower-budget werewolf movie, I can appreciate that it didn’t try to overstay it’s welcome, as the film runs at an hour and 13 minutes. Funnily enough, I still think it runs a bit long, but that’s just due to not caring for some of the pacing here.
And related to that, the ending of this film was somewhat abysmal. It didn’t come as a surprise – somewhat early on, once the action gets going, you can sort of see where it’s going. Even so,it just struck me as a bit ridiculous, and just didn’t really do much to make me care for the movie any more.
Overall, some aspects of Wild Country are worthy of respect, such as some of the performances and special effects. At the same time, it’s not a movie that I enjoy too much, and while it might be worth a single watch, it’s not something that would likely make someone’s top werewolf outings.