Danny Dunlop’s Wolves reminds us of the dangers of isolation

Deep in the icy wilderness of wintertime Ontario, a reclusive young man becomes obsessed with a series of unsolved crimes, but his quest leads to dark places. When the protagonist becomes aware of an uncanny similarity between himself and the killer, the search turns into a race against time.

Wolves is inspired by a series of real incidents that took place in Canada, in the hometown of writer/director Danny Dunlop. Between 2015 and 2017, over 25 wild animals were gruesomely killed and dismembered, and left in public. Fearing that it was a serial killer preparing to escalate to human victims, a concerted effort was made to find the killer, but the case remains open even today.

In Dunlop’s Wolves, the protagonist, caught in a rough personal phase with no job and no companionship, is intrigued by the inexplicable nature of these grisly crimes as they take place – what kind of person would kill wild animals so mercilessly and then display them for the world to see?

As a recluse, he watches from afar the media circus around the killings but privately retraces the killer’s footsteps, visits the crime scenes, and pays close attention to the psychological profiling by local college professor Michael Raymond.

Through his research, the protagonist discovers that most serial killers are very much like himself: young white males who have distanced themselves from society. The discovery pushes him into an active search to find the animal killer and prevent him from moving on to human victims.

Lead actor Mark Nocent as the protagonist is striking, shifting subtly from the docile introvert to someone with a darker side. The film also stars Jake Raymond (American Gothic), Allen Dobrescu (FX’s Fargo Season 2), Tiffany Blom (Age of the Living Dead), Chad Hamilton-Andrews (Hell on Wheels), and Lawrene Denkers (The Duchess of Cancun). Fight Club actor Holt McCallany lends his distinctive voice to the role of Westview Country Supply Manager. Wolves is produced by Taylor Re Lynn, Rajiv Whabi, and Franklin Eugene.

For Danny Dunlop, who wrote the screenplay and directed and shot the film, it was important to keep the suspense taut but elegant. The location, with its monochromatic winter bleakness, reflects the hollow loneliness that surrounds the protagonist. At the core of the film, Wolves is a story about the nature of social media, isolation, and the search for human connection.

Wolves was selected for screening at the Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival in April 2022, and screens its theatrical world premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood this June.

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