Wilcza. Wizyaka. Wi-Wi-Wiz Khalifa.
Wilczyca is a hard movie to pronounce (if you aren’t Polish) and will be further referred to by She-Wolf, its English title. It’s an even harder movie to be interested in.
The film follows a man named Casper as he comes home to see his dying wife whose parting words to him are “You used to call me a bitch so I will die like one”. Clearly there were some issues.
After his wife passes, Casper, who has been away for some time, is told that his late wife had been getting into black magic and that if a stake is not driven through the corpse’s heart, she will rise up and wreak havoc on his life.
Casper reluctantly agrees and goes to a castle where we are introduced to a number of characters, all of whom will become perfunctory with the exception of Countess Julia, who will become important for vaguely biblical reasons.
See, a wolf has stalked Casper ever since his wife passed and he is haunted by visions of a zombified version of his wife. Countess Julia’s favorite hobby is breeding wolves. Coincidence? (Hint: No).
The movie spends so much time setting up Julia as the main antagonist, the mechanics of which I’ll keep unspoiled in case you are actually interested in watching this movie, that it never bothers to explain how Capser’s wife came to use Julia as a method of torturing her husband, or ever really explains why Casper is hanging out with all of these royal people.Making it even harder to follow the action of the film are all the static shots of people traveling places. Editing is a very particular art that very few people can successfully pull off. To edit a movie is to create a seamless tapestry of action that never slows down long enough for the audience to lose interest. By feeling compelled to show every step a character takes to get from one place of another, to show an uninterrupted 45 seconds of a man riding a horse towards the screen just to cut to another shot of that same man riding that same horse to presumably the same place just kills any kind of momentum that She-Wolf could have built up.
Compare this to something that is crazy with shots of people traveling on horseback like Django Unchained: Tarantino uses the sequence of his characters in transit to establish mood and show off the varied surroundings that the characters occupy. There, traveling has a thematic purpose. In She-Wolf, traveling is just used to prove that the characters in fact did not teleport from one location to the other.
She-Wolf has practically no zombies, basically no werewolves, very little magic, all of the stock footage of travel by horse and buggy, and runs for 100 minutes. None of these things are positives.
There are people that supposedly consider this movie a staple of Polish horror cinema, which is a claim that has me quoting my single favorite line from the movie: “Err….wait?”
Watch ‘Wilczyca’ / ‘She-Wolf’:
Written by: JJ Perkins