Found footage films had their moment, but new thriller Lone Wolf tries hard to replicate the subgenre’s successes. The premise shows waves of potential through a twisty, convoluted narrative. Unfortunately, this potential is never fully realized. The decision to have the majority unfold through various forms of video footage is a dealbreaker. The static imagery creates a distance between audience and character that left me cold. The constantly-shifting narrative frosts Lone Wolf in a dull sheen of confusion that never allows the viewer in on the secret.
A headstrong young woman, Winnie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey), and her younger disabled brother, Stevie (Chris Bunton), become ensnared in a sinister plot by way of Winnie’s activist boyfriend (Josh McConville). That’s the closest thing to a plot synopsis I could pull together because the film doesn’t allow you much in the way of narrative. You have to put the pieces together yourself; it makes for a jumbled mess of surveillance footage that left me scratching my head.
The excessive devotion to this format leaves for little in the way of emotional connection or depth. Hugo Weaving scene-steals the three times he wanders into the story, with all the bravado you’d expect from the skilled actor. Chris Bunton is charming and is solely responsible for any heart this glacial film may possess. Two moments near the conclusion would’ve hit so much harder if they’d been properly staged. Lone Wolf is mostly just a frustrating stack of great ideas smothered under a slavish, inexorable commitment to a dated format.