Wolf Garden is a tale about a man (Wayne David) coping with love and loss. His mental state is questionable as he’s faced with isolation, desperation, and the strange noises he keeps hearing in the dark. And what is it that he’s sliding food to under the locked door of the shed? Is something coming for him…or is he the thing to be feared?
I’m just going to jump right into this because I don’t want to take as long to get to the point as this movie does. Wolf Garden, which is not only written, directed, and produced by Wayne David, but stars him as well, is a terribly slow-burn of a werewolf film.
Normally, I can appreciate a slow-burn when the storytelling is straightforward and can hold my attention from start to finish. Unfortunately, though, I had a rather hard time paying attention to Wolf Garden despite it having only an 89-minute runtime. The movie is just so strangely uneven. It’s atmospheric and has a decent score, but the dialogue is a bit much in spots. Also, the overuse of flashbacks and the main character’s memories/hallucinations make stretches of this film terribly confusing. And once you figure out what’s going on, Wolf Garden eventually goes on to become predictable, sadly. On a happier note, if you make it to the end, it’s worth it.
I really wanted to like Wolf Garden more than I did since I’m a huge fan of werewolf films. Wayne David had a lot of good ideas and intentions with this film, but they just weren’t executed very well. The transformation scene is impressive, I just wish there had been more of it. I also enjoyed the emphasis on dark, gothic atmosphere. The movie would have been more effective had there been a simpler approach to the storytelling.
If you’re looking for something along the lines of An American Werewolf in London (1981) or The Howling (1981), Wolf Garden may not be the film for you. If you’re looking for more of a gothic, story-driven take on the werewolf lore, you can find this one streaming right now on Prime Video.