CUB is written and directed by acclaimed Belgian director Jonas Govaerts and is his first feature film.
It tells us the story of Sam (Maurice Luijten), a twelve year old cub scout with a mysterious but undisclosed past, who struggles to fit in with either his fellow cubs or even the leaders, all of whom bully him almost constantly.
The cub scouts are off on a camping trip together. Loaded into a pickup truck, they head off to the campsite. However, when they arrive, they find it being terrorised by local ruffians and make the decision to push on and camp in the forest instead.
The scout leaders Peter (Stef Aerts – Oxygen), Kris (Titus De Voogdt – Steve + Sky, Ben X) and chef Jasmijn (Evelien Bosmans – Marina) are a magnificently unqualified bunch to look after an entire scout troupe and prove this even further by their reckless telling of campfire horror stories.
They invent the tale of Kai (Gill Eeckelaert), a werewolf child rumoured to live in the very forest in which they are camping. Little do they know that there is in fact a feral child who lives in the forest. Sam has seen him around the camp, and even found his den, but he is mistrusted by the others, who think he is over-imaginative and refuse to believe him.
However, this may well prove to be unwise, as the Kai’s father, the poacher, has set the forest with all manner of nasty and inventive traps, which will gradually reduce their numbers in all sorts of gory and graphic ways.
CUB is a very entertaining watch, quite old school 80s in it’s style, however using cub scouts as victims is a refreshing change from teenagers and lends it a sort of Lord of the Flies type of feel. This is a great cautionary tale about the perils of letting your children go on holiday supervised only by a bunch of irresponsible idiots.
The acting is excellent, the characters are well rounded and overall the story works very well, although there are a lot of things which I would have liked them to explain. They do expect you to take rather a lot on face value. It doesn’t detract too much from the enjoyment though, just remember to leave your brain at the door.
CUB is available to buy now on DVD.