New To Blu: Cub

Artsploitation Films continues their juggernaut of a year with the eagerly awaited horror film, Cub.

"Anyone got a tissue?"
After releasing several other stellar genre films this year, Cub returns horror to a place it hasn't been in years. Based on old school scare tactics and a story that moves like the bloodied and abused offspring of Lord of the Flies paired with the original Wolf Creek, Cub is another entry that further helps the foreign horror film industry take a firm stranglehold on genre fans at large. While the story doesn't push any new boundaries, it arrives at a time when fans are sick to death of cheap found footage and typical paranormal movies that all seem similar in their low budget feel. Cub brings us back to a time when killers were mysterious and the woods held bizarre secrets unknown. 

Basing a horror story around a group of Cub Scouts definitely sets this apart from anything else we've seen this past year. With Cub,  the continued tones of violence and abuse towards children might be unsettling to some. Decidedly, director Jonas Govaerts doesn't shy away from youthful bloodshed and is never hesitant about causing some amount of inflicted pain or death to each and every adolescent star of his film. Much like the early Friday the 13th movies, the setting is dark and brooding with an unsettling amount of humor and baseline sexual innuendo thrown in for good measure. Overall, it's not as strong a picture as some of Artsploitation's other releases, but its still an acceptable and entertaining piece of modern horror that rises above most of today's mediocre flicks.

"Alright! Who forgot the marshmallows?!!!"
Where the film truly excels is in its moody synth based score, its convincing use of young actors, and a non-typical story. This isn't just another flash in the pan multi-sequel serial killer. The reasoning behind the blood thirsty vanquisher of life is only touched upon for a second but adds a sense of reality blended into this black hearted fictional urban legend that feels mildly fresh and strangely amusing. With a dedicated cast of talented preteen boys thrown against a rural landscape of terror, Cub definitely stands out from the pack.

If you think you can stomach scenes of animal torture and brutality aimed at children, Cub might be in your wheelhouse. Somehow, Govaerts found the perfect way to distance his movie from others that fall into the same slasher in the woods categorical grouping. There is a malevolent story here that definitely borrows key elements while still remaining mildly innovative. Mixing in the thematic component of younger children instead of teenagers is a nice departure for a movie that might have fallen by the wayside if not for that unique spin on the killer in the woods formula. If you're a horror junkie like myself, definitely check this one out. 

Cub is released today on blu-ray and dvd.



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