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The Wolf House

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‘The Wolf House (La casa lobo)’ Review: Art as cinema in a surreal experience

‘The Wolf House’ is visually impressive.

Fairy tales are an important part of community. They can teach lessons, share history, and just entertain. They can also be some of the darkest and most grim stories a person will ever hear. The Wolf House uses stop motion animation to tell the story of Maria. Maria is a young girl fleeing from fanatics. She finds refuge but quickly learns that nothing is ever as it seems.

Cristian León and Joaquin Cociña’s film is visually captivating. Using papier-mâché, tape, and paint, the pair have put together something audiences will not be able to look away from. That being said, it will also require multiple viewings to completely comprehend. The real question becomes, does The Wolf House lend itself to multiple viewings?

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The question will get different answers as the movie will prove to be very polarizing. There is no doubting the beauty of The Wolf House. Made to look like one continuous shot, the film will constantly impress anyone who watches. The movie runs a little over and an hour. If someone were to play any random part, within seconds, they would find something visually captivating.

The Wolf House was shot over the course of several years and art galleries around the world. More often than not, it looks like something that would be found at some exhibit. Many films are held up as an example of cinema being art. The Wolf House asks does art work as cinema.

The Wolf House – Official North American Trailer from KimStim on Vimeo.

There is a strong premise behind all the surreal beauty. The Wolf House opens with a propaganda film strip. It sets a tone of oppression and the explains the reason Maria wants to escape. The audience immediately finds out the state of Maria‘s life.

This also may be where some take most issue with The Wolf House. The plot never develops so much as those watching will plug things in on their own. Is it a story of a lonely and frightened girl losing her mind? Or is Maria Maria fully aware of what is happening and simply coping? There is even the possibility everything that is happening is true. The answer probably lies somewhere in between all three. That will be frustrating for many who watch.

The Wolf House is an undeniably beautiful movie that seems to explore many things. Visually, it will be hard to find movies that look more impressive. The use of stop motion and traditional animation are woven together seamlessly. The film never ceases to impress. The virtually nonexistent story will turn many off, however. That being said, art is what the viewer makes of it. The Wolf House is a great example.

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