Writer and director Nathalie Biancheri released her debut Nocturnal in 2019, which caught my attention and marked her as one of the directors I’d love to talk to about their craft. Her second effort Wolf explores the dark and unusual subject of species dysphoria, as the protagonist, played by George Mackay, believes he is a wolf stuck inside a boy’s body. I was fortunate enough to chat to the filmmaker about this piece…
As Wolf is your second feature film, was there anything in particular that you’d brought forward into it from the learning experience that came with directing your debut?
Wolf was such a crazy, demanding, and very insane film from a performance and directing actors’ point of view, so I think it was really reassuring was to have made a first film before going into it. I think what was what was amazing was to have had that first feature even though it was very small. Knowing that it was possible somehow, and not having this unknown of making a feature film and the absolute fear that comes with that was great.
Writer and director Nathalie Biancheri gives a whole new meaning to ‘the boy who cried wolf’ in her latest effort Wolf, moving on from her debut Nocturnal to a tale of an unorthodox nocturnal animal. The psychological drama stars George Mackay as Jacob who suffers from species dysphoria, believing that he is a wolf in a boy’s body.
Acclaimed Spanish screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez takes to the director’s chair for his feature debut The Secret of Marrowbone, a mystery drama that follows a close-knit family threatened by their dark past. In dire need of a fresh start, siblings Jack (George MacKay), Jane (Mia Goth), Billy (Charlie Heaton) and Sam (Matthew Stagg) move from Britain to rural America, setting up home in the Marrowbone House where their mother grew up. When tragedy strikes, they must protect each other from a sinister presence.
The titular ‘secret’ of the Marrowbones serves as a plot-device to drive the narrative forward, and while the story becomes overly convoluted by a lacklustre love-triangle sub-plot, the smart implementation of traditional horror elements makes for a tense cinematic experience. Sánchez skilfully executes jump scares and other genre tropes, crafting genuinely frightening scenes in the eerie haunted-house setting. Despite some heavy-handed storytelling flaws, the piece works as a suspenseful chill-ride and a solid showcase for rising acting talent.