Cub (Welp) (2014) Movie Review with Ending Explained


The Review (Spoiler Free)

“Cub,” originally titled “Welp,” is a Belgian horror film that marks the directorial debut of Jonas Govaerts. The film, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, takes viewers on a harrowing journey into the woods with a group of Cub Scouts who find themselves in a fight for survival against a backdrop of folklore and real-world dangers.

The story centers around 12-year-old Sam, portrayed by Maurice Luijten, who is bullied by his fellow scouts and their sadistic leader, Peter. The narrative unfolds as the troop embarks on a camping trip near the French border, where they are regaled with tales of Kai, a mythical werewolf-like creature said to inhabit the forest. When Sam encounters what he believes to be Kai, his warnings are dismissed as the product of an overactive imagination, setting the stage for a chilling confrontation with the true menace lurking in the woods.

Govaerts’ film is a blend of adventure and horror, a genre mashup that delivers a fresh take on the coming-of-age narrative. The cinematography by Nicolas Karakatsanis is noteworthy, capturing the ominous beauty of the forest that serves as the film’s primary setting. The score by Steve Moore adds to the film’s tense atmosphere, underlining the sense of impending doom that builds throughout the story.

The performances, especially by the young Luijten, are commendable. The character dynamics and the portrayal of bullying add depth to the horror elements, making the audience invest emotionally in Sam’s plight. The film’s antagonist, a feral boy played by Gill Eeckelaert, and his poacher father, played by Jan Hammenecker, are both menacing and intriguing, adding layers to the film’s central conflict.

“Cub” has received mixed reviews, with some criticism directed at the Belgian motion picture rating board for its “all ages” rating, which was later contested by the Flemish Boy Scouts organization due to the film’s intense content. The producers themselves recommended the film for audiences over the age of 14, acknowledging its potentially disturbing themes.

The film’s strengths lie in its ability to maintain suspense and deliver a series of well-crafted set pieces that keep the audience on edge. However, some reviewers have pointed out weaknesses in the latter half of the film, suggesting that the narrative could have benefited from further development of character insight.

Overall, “Cub” is a visually striking and emotionally engaging horror film that offers a unique perspective on the genre. It’s a commendable first feature from Govaerts, showcasing his potential as a filmmaker with a clear vision for suspense and storytelling. While it may not reinvent the wheel, “Cub” stands out for its atmospheric tension and the young cast’s performances, making it a worthwhile watch for fans of horror and adventure alike.

Spoiler Ending (Spoiler Alert!)

At the movie’s start, we’re introduced to a mythical creature named Kai, who is later revealed to be a boy wearing a mask. A mysterious man living with the boy is also introduced; his identity is unclear, but he appears to be a dangerous serial killer. The nature of the relationship between the boy and the serial killer is ambiguous, yet it seems the man is manipulating the boy into becoming a serial killer himself.

When Sam encounters the masked boy, a unique relationship begins to form. Sam displays sympathy towards the boy, who in turn seems intrigued by Sam. It’s anticipated that Sam and the boy will team up to defeat the serial killer and escape, but this does not occur.

In the climax, Sam is forced into a life-or-death struggle with the boy. Ultimately, Sam kills the boy in the mask.

In a grim twist, Sam takes the place of the boy in the mask, continuing to live with the serial killer and perpetuating the cycle of terror in the forest.

In the Nutshell

Cub is entertaining horror thriller.  Don’t let the subtitle discourage you. I give 4 out of 5 stars. 

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating


Genre: Suspense Thriller

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  1. What if the mistery boy was actually Sam’s twin? In the photo that Sam brings with him a second boy is shown, with the face cancelled. We don’t know what happened during Sam’s childhood. So the boy in the end could actually not be Sam.

  2. Yo creo que podría ser su gemelo ya que nunca se le ve la cara al niño de la máscara, y al final no hablaba sólo seguía con el mismo ronroneo


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