Contrary to what the title may suggest, this new release is not related to the Seth McFarlane and Mark Wahlberg comedy film Ted. If Teddy does share DNA with another film, though, it’s Teen Wolf.
Debuting co-directors Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma have crafted a snappy little horror about a twentysomething oddball named Teddy Pruvost (Anthony Bajon), whose life in the warm French Pyrenees is about to be deeply affected. He already has a feeling things won’t be normal this summer, with little guidance to improve his unfavourable professional circumstances (temporary work at a beauty parlour), a difficult relationship with his girlfriend and no real friends to lean on during these harsh times.
Little does he know that the most awkward adjustments will be biological. In the woods of this rural town, there lie wolves. When one of these fearless animals hurts the protagonist, he subsequently discovers unsettling corporeal changes and a lust for something unspeakable. We know how this story goes – we’ve seen it time and time again and understood all the metaphors for transformation, from puberty to masculinity to sexuality. There aren’t too many movies that are able to refresh the perspective. Alas, that includes this one, which doesn’t separate itself from the pack (pun intended), besides looking far more handsome than usual.
Seriously, this feature is a visual feast. Inherently it benefits from the beautiful countryside setting (especially in the bright daylight) with its vibrant fields and endless vistas, but it takes a special crew to find the best compositions within these bountiful locations. Cinematographer Augustin Barbaroux leads a camera team who are up to the task, framing the exterior shots with postcard perfection.
Of course, attention must be paid to the actors who inhabit these frames and Anthony Bajon commands the screen with intrigue even when his titular character isn’t exactly designed to invite our sympathies with his weird ways. Whilst Teddy could be much more interesting with its central premise – look at fellow French film Raw for a more powerful allegorical take on blood lust – it has just enough moments of gore and black humour to satiate horror fans.
Teddy is released digitally on Sudder on 5th August 2021.