Inspired by a homeless couple traveling door to door to mow lawns, Werewolf follows twenty-somethings Nessa (Bhreagh MacNeil) and Blaise (Andrew Gillis). Enrolled in a methadone recovery program, they struggle to get clean, navigate their relationship and try to make enough money to live.
Taking her cue from her central characters, Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature is rough around the edges. There is no attempt to stay neat and tidy, throwing classical filmmaking out the window in favour of off-centred closeups and extensive use of off screen space. In many ways, the film’s style makes it difficult to connect with the characters as they flit about as insubstantial voices existing beyond the world of the film. On the other hand, that’s kind of the point of Werewolf.
These characters exist on the fringes of society. They may be in recovery, but Nessa and Blaise are unwelcome outsiders. McKenzie’s camera keeps them fragmented and distant, never seen as fully formed people. There is almost no dialogue in Werewolf, so the images bear the brunt of the storytelling. The result is something abstract, that is always interesting, but not always fully engaging.