Michael Haneke's TIME OF THE WOLF is an emotionally riveting film that takes place in post-apocalyptic rural France. Keeping the film at a constantly tense level even though the characters are for the most part calm and logical, Haneke has mastered the art of controlling his audience. Viewers will find it hard to look away from the screen--or even move in their seats--as they sit frozen by the powerful performances of Isabelle Huppert and Anais Demoustier. The story follows a family of four who load up their supplies and retreat from Paris after a disaster leaves the water contaminated and livestock sickened, causing the government to put sanctions of food and fuel. Arriving at their country house, the family is attacked, their patriarch is murdered, and their supplies are stolen, leaving Anne (Huppert), Eva (Demoustier) and the fragile young Ben (Lucas Biscombe) to wander the bleak countryside in a fervent search for justice and protection. Settling into a makeshift commune in a railroad station, the threesome struggle to make it through each day among chaos, prostitution and rape, competitive barter for food and water, and long episodes of their companions screaming or sobbing. Depressing and frightening, yet totally compelling, TIME OF THE WOLF is a myth with epic feeling. Most of the action takes place off-screen as the protagonists react, and this method of storytelling infuses the film with natural suspense. The result is one great big deep and eerie shiver.
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