Spoilers follow ...
- Cub review by NP
A couple of unpleasant pack leaders are preparing a group of unpleasant Pathfinder cub scouts for a camping trip. Sam (Maurice Luijten) isn’t unpleasant, but he is late for their briefing, which earns him fifty press-ups whilst wearing his back-back. When they reach their intended camping site, the group run into two even more unpleasant youths with a grudge, racing around on a go-cart. This encourages the Pathfinders, who are also cowards, to camp somewhere else … deep in the woods.
The two arrogant leaders Chris (Titus De Voogdt) and Peter – or Baloo (Stef Aerts) – are joined by the only female of the group, chef Jasmijn (Evelien Bosmans). Jasmine and Chris go some way to curbing the Pathfinders’ bullying ways towards Sam, but the young outcast is more concerned with strange moving shapes in the trees and the legend of a local werewolf called Kai (Gill Eeckelaert).
The idea of Kai is a strong and appealing one. A feral child-creature living out in the woods. The more that is slowly revealed about him – and his father – slowly erodes the sinister mystique, which is a shame. And once we learn more about him, the horror aspects become less spectral, and more like solid slasher fare. And yet the twists and turns never stop until … well, even I won’t spoil that!
This Belgian horror is a terrific production; it contains effective characters, fine set-pieces and some nicely contrived death scenes. For all the killings brought about by a selection of cruel and carefully set traps throughout the forest, the real monster here for me is Baloo. Titus De Voogdt instils him with relentless, cowardly spite and bullying ways, we truly cannot wait for his come-uppance, which can never be horrible enough!
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