Eye For Film >> Movies >> Feral (2008) Film Review
Reviewed by: Anton Bitel
Released as an extra on the DVD for Daniel Patrick Carbone's debut feature Hide Your Smiling Faces, it shares many of that film's themes.
After an argument with his mother (Rebecca Flint) drives him from home, teenaged Terry (Michael Daley) goes from clowning in the backyard with a little dog to running, sleeping and even feeding alongside a wolf in the nearby forest, where huntsmen and death are never far away. Meanwhile, his little sister (Emma Miccicke), caught between her conflicted desires to follow Terry into the wilds and to return to the fold (her first words in the film are "Let's go back"), retreats to her upstairs bedroom - that is also a verdant forest.
The influence on this magical realist scenario of Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are is clear, but it is also possible to see how Terry's tender encounter with the savage wolf has in turn influenced the breathtaking sequence in Hide Your Smiling Faces where the teenaged Eric (Nathan Varson) chances upon a bear in the woods. As an allegory of adolescence, that time when awkward physical instincts and urges are most challenged by civilising forces, Feral is a moody, mysterious tour de force.Reviewed on: 27 Oct 2014