Hyena | Chicago Reader

Hyena

Set in the wasteland of a dying industrial town, Grzegorz Lewandowski's moody if somewhat convoluted thriller centers on a small boy trying to cope with the loss of his father in a mining accident. The boy's lively imagination, stoked by his schoolmates, convinces him that a werewolflike creature haunts the surrounding woods, and his fears are inflamed by an encounter with a mysterious disfigured man and a string of unsolved murders. Draining the film of color except for the occasional splash of crimson, Lewandowski generates a genuinely creepy atmosphere. His clear debt to Great Expectations and Victor Erice's 1973 The Spirit of the Beehive might have been forgivable had his stab at political allegory proved more successful. In Polish with subtitles. 87 min.

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