We’ve only finished day one of Fantastic Fest, and there are lots of films coming up in the next week that people are giving the highest possible praise, but, so far, Cub is easily the best movie I’ve seen this year. It’s an incredible Belgian take on Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, and I Didn’t Come Here to Die, done in a mind-blowingly cinematic and serious way. This movie is so incredibly entertaining that I knew I’d give it a perfect score from the first intense scene.
CUB is about a bunch of cub scouts who go on a camping trip and think they’re being stalked by a mythical killer in the woods. It’s so confidently and quickly paced. Every element of the technical side of the movie is perfect. Every shot is amazingly well composed and lit; even during broad daylight scenes, the crew went to great lengths to control the light and create a cinematic look. The music is awesome. But the best part of all is the structure of the script. All of the characters are three-dimensional and real. They have real flaws that aren’t exaggerated as horror stereotypes, and even the meanest characters have likable moments. So many crucial moments are foreshadowed and called-back to, making every key plot point feel earned and logical, and nothing ever happens as a groan-inducing coincidence, yet there is such subtle foreshadowing that nothing is predictable. Cub is called Welp in Belgium, and you need to see it as soon as possible.
CUB is directed by Jonas Govaerts.