Film, Film Review

REVIEW: Teddy (2020) dir. Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma

Now Streaming on Shudder


I love werewolf movies.

I don’t even care if the effects are good; I just want to see some bones cracking and some fur growing and a snout protruding from our protagonist’s mouth.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

After all, that’s what being a werewolf is—going through a transformation, symbolically and physically.

In Teddy, we don’t really see much of either.

Teddy is a coming-of-age flick spliced haphazardly with some seriously gnarly (but small) moments of body horror; from the moment Teddy (Anthony Bajon) plucks a hair out of his eyeball, you’re led to believe you’re in for a gruesome treat, as I’ve described above—but you’re left wanting.

Teddy is an angry young man living in a rough, rural French town with his disabled aunt and drunk uncle. He’s chaotic and obnoxious, figuring that he can’t get better than the situation he’s in. He is a misfit in a village full of them, from the cops that are investigating the maiming of sheep to his zany girlfriend Rebecca (Christine Gautier).

The scene in Teddy’s bathroom could have been the catalyst to some disturbing body horror sequences, à la An American Werewolf in London or The Howling, but we’re never given the opportunity to see it.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for transformation scenes and how lycanthropy contorts and destroys the human body (and how interesting it is when analyzed as body horror), but I was disappointed. The film’s lack of werewolf imagery felt like a bit of a rip-off; if you’re going to do a werewolf movie, go all-out. Don’t play it safe—show some bones cracking and some fur growing and a snout protruding from our protagonist’s mouth!

The film focuses too much on the quirkiness and comedic aspects—while coming across more as artsy, rather than creepy—and not enough on the horror. It wasn’t the gory flick I was anticipating it to be and left me wishing Shudder was putting out a more traditional werewolf flick.

dir. Ludovic Boukherma and Zoran Boukherma
88 min.

Teddy is now streaming on Shudder.

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