"Little girls, this seems to say, never stop upon your way, never trust a stranger friend, no-one knows how it will end! As you're pretty, so be wise! Wolves may lurk in every guise! Now, as then, it's simple truth, sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth!"
Childhood fantasies come to life in Neil Jordan's whimsical fairy tale, THE COMPANY OF WOLVES! Each of the stories take their roots from Angela Carter's feminist twist on Gothic fiction, creating strong female characters in place of typical male archetypes. Rosaleen is whisked away to a world of dreams and nightmares, where her kindly old granny tells her treacherous tales about men who hide their hair on the inside; wolves in sheep's clothing. It is these men, she warns, that will drag a young girl into the depths of Hell! Jordan works from an striking visual palette that is overflowing with dark mood and a menacing atmosphere. His forests are filled with gnarled branches, creeping mists, and towering toadstools, which set the perfect stage for such stories. Where other films strive to turn men into wolves on the outside, THE COMPANY OF WOLVES shows that all men are wolves on the inside, both figuratively and literally. The beastly men rip away their flesh to reveal their inner animal in a stunning display of special effects. As in Carter's fiction, THE COMPANY OF WOLVES serves as a beautiful allegory for the coming of age and the perils of puberty. Red suits Rosaleen quite well, and signifies her journey into womanhood. Jordan also explores these changes through clever visual metaphors and running motifs that underline the plot with wit and satire. Sarah Patterson is wonderful in her debut performance as Rosaleen, putting on a show of innocence and naivety that quickly turn to understanding when the time has come to put away her toys and run with the wolves in her budding adolescence.
Movies like THE COMPANY OF WOLVES:
MIRRORMASK, GINGER SNAPS, BLOOD MOON, SPIRITED AWAY, LABYRINTH, LEMORA: A CHILD'S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL.