“The Wolfpack” (2015) – Review by Clay Bloodworth

Wolfpack doc review

‘The Wolfpack’ incredibly gripping

The subjects of the new documentary “The Wolfpack” have to be some of the most odd people I’ve seen put to film all year. The individuals I’m talking about are a group of brothers who, throughout their childhood, were shut off from society and forced to stay in their New York City apartment. Being home-schooled and in a unique state of seclusion – in which they only got outside nine or ten times a year – they formed a religious love of movies. Without internet and with plenty of time on their hands, they compiled homemade scripts of their most treasured films (which range from “The Dark Knight” to “Gone With the Wind”). This, of course, all for the purpose of remaking them to their own delight. Cinema helps them pass the time and gain access to a bit of the world that they can’t actually see themselves.

The opening sequence is most telling, in which they lovingly act out their favorite moments from Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”. It’s at once extremely funny, with their cardboard guns and baggy suits, yet haunting in the same sense. It’s the definition of a fly-on-the-wall documentary, in which we’re not really sure how the filmmakers found these kids, much less were allowed into their lives. The fact that some of this footage even exists is a testament to the superb direction by Crystal Moselle.

I found it captivating from beginning to end. The mystery of why these boys have been treated this way is handled excellently. Nothing is revealed too quickly, partly because the answers aren’t all that simple. It’s definitely a slow-build, but completely absorbing. You won’t be able to take your eyes off this family. The story of their lives is incredibly gripping, and absolutely worthy of this skillfully-made film. “The Wolfpack” is now playing in select theaters and available On Demand.

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