Fantastic Fest 2020: Teddy .. #MovieReview #FantasticFest2020 #Horror @fantasticfest @WTF_Sales

Movie still from French horror film Teddy.

Fantastic Fest, hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse, has gone virtual for 2020, and the opening night film was Teddy, a French horror film with English subtitles.

Teddy takes place in a small town in the French countryside, and centers around the titular character Teddy, played by Anthony Bajon (The Prayer 2018, Berlin Silver Bear winner, Best Actor).

Teddy is a twenty-something slacker who lives at home and works at a local massage salon. He has a massive chip on his shoulder and gives attitude to everyone but his girlfriend, Rebecca (Christine Gautier), who is set to graduate high school.

While in the woods one day, Teddy is scratched on the back by some animal. He thinks it may be the wolf that local angry farmers have been hunting for months, but after being laughed at by the local police while giving his statement, he just goes on with his life.

As the weeks go by, Teddy notices changes, but he’s too consumed by the never-ending stress that he’s under. His dad is on his back; Ghislaine (Noémie Lvovsky), his boss at the salon not only constantly berates him in front of customers but sexually harasses him; and he finds out Rebecca is best friends with his former high school bully.

Teddy eventually finds himself giving in to horrible urges and, after one last betrayal, unleashes the inner beast.

One could say this is a werewolf film, but it’s really more than that. It’s a psychological thriller that just happens to use Teddy’s inner wolf, rather than a gun, to do the killing.

The film, written and directed by Ludovic & Zoran Boukherma, uses very little gore to create the creepy atmosphere. In an after-film interview, the brothers said their mother was a fan of Stephen King, and that influenced a lot of Teddy. There are also some sexual scenes, but no nudity.

Teddy is a slow-build horror movie. I’d give it a 3 out of 5.

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