A Wolf at the Door (2013) [REVIEW] [SXSW ’14]

a wolf at the door movie poster o lobo atras da porta


Hey, filmmakers, do you want me to see your movie? THEN PUT THE WORD “WOLF” IN THE TITLE AND I’LL BE ONE THOUSAND FUCKING TIMES MORE INTERESTED. I seriously don’t even have to know what it’s about, but if I read the word “wolf”, you’ve got my attention. In the case of A Wolf at the Door, the use of “wolf” implies something scary at someone’s door. Once I read a little bit more about the film, I read that it was based on a true story, there was some sort of infidelity amongst a married couple, and a kidnapping. I don’t know about you, but that gave me enough hope to think that a wolf turned into a kidnapper, so that’s what I went into the movie expecting. SPOILER ALERT: the titular wolf is more metaphorical than literal.


a wolf at the door movie leandra leal Milhem Cortaz

She’s not a wolf and he’s not a door so yeah false advertising.

When Sylvia (Fabiula Nascimento) goes to pick up her daughter from school, the teacher explains her daughter was picked up by Sylvia’s neighbor Sheila. Not having a neighbor Sheila, it’s clear that trouble is afoot. When Sylvia goes to the police, her husband Bernardo (Milhem Cortaz) is brought in and questioned. Bernardo admits that he’s been having an affair with Rosa (Leandra Leal) and he thinks she’s involved. When Rosa is then brought in for questioning, the teacher correctly identifies Rosa as the one who picked up the daughter from school. In police custody, Rosa admits to picking up the daughter and also admits to everything that led up to the events in question. There’s adultery, physical abuse, emotional abuse, lies, deception, all leading to an innocent child be dragged into a troubled relationship between three adults. The film is supposedly based on true events, which make it all the more chilling, and even if the details were manipulated a bit, the film serves as a reminder of just how awful humans can be to one another.


a wolf at the door movie leandra leal child


Remember how I said you can get me to watch practically any movie by putting “wolf” in the title? Well that’s partly because most of those movies are horror movies. Throughout most of the film I was thinking about how maybe I was misled into thinking anything scary would happen, and A Wolf at the Door is far from a traditional horror film, but by the time you get to the end, you’ve had to deal with some horrific events. The film really covers all the bases of terrible relationships that almost anyone can connect with. Not that anyone will necessarily fear for their child any time their relationship goes to shit, especially if they don’t even have a child, but the fear and paranoia that can take over you when things get a little fishy. If the emotional horror doesn’t get to you, then what happens to the victim of the whole situation will get to you, and if the emotional horror does get to you, it’ll make the ending that much more crushing. A Wolf at the Door fits a unique niche where it might not be horrific enough for horror fans but could also be too horrific for people outside the genre. Either way, A Wolf at the Door will make you think twice before getting married and having a kid and then cheating on your wife years later with a woman you met at a train station, otherwise these events are just bound to repeat themselves.


Wolfman Moon Scale

three quarters moon

Official Site

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