Big Bad Wolves

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Big Bad Wolves
Big Bad Wolves US Theatrical Poster.jpg
Directed by Aharon Keshales
Navot Papushado
Produced by Tami Leon
Hillick Michaeli
Avraham Pirchi
Moshe Edery
Leon Edery
Written by Aharon Keshales
Navot Papushado
Starring Lior Ashkenazi
Tzahi Grad
Doval'e Glickman
Rotem Keinan
Music by Haim Frank Ilfman
Cinematography Giora Bejach
Edited by Asaf Corman
United Channel Movies
Distributed by Magnet Releasing
XYZ Films
Release dates
  • April 21, 2013 (2013-04-21) (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • August 15, 2013 (2013-08-15) (Israel)
  • January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17) (USA)
Running time
110 minutes
Country Israel
Language Hebrew

Big Bad Wolves (Hebrew: מי מפחד מהזאב הרע‎, Mi mefakhed mehaze'ev hara, direct translation: "Who is scared of the bad wolf") is a 2013 Israeli thriller film written and directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. It was the official selection of Tribeca Film Festival.[1][2] The movie has been produced by United King Studios, United Channel Movies and The Joshua Rabinovich Arts Foundation of Tel Aviv University. Quentin Tarantino called it the best film of the year 2013.[3]


The movie begins with three kids shown playing hide-and-seek in the woods. One of the girls hides in the closet in an abandoned house, from where she is abducted by an unknown perpetrator. Dror (Rotem Keinan) a school teacher, is suspected of the crime and is arrested by the police. He is subjected to torture by a police team led by Micki (Lior Ashkenazi) to reveal the location of the missing girl. This whole episode is shot on his phone by a kid who happens to be playing in the vicinity and is subsequently uploaded onto YouTube.

An unnamed caller leads the police to the location of the girl's body in a field. She has been sexually assaulted and her head is missing. According to Jewish law, a Jew is to be buried as he was born - complete with all his limbs and organs.

Micki is subsequently fired from the police force, but he plans to kidnap Dror to extract a confession and thus clear his name. The case is handed over to another police officer, Rami (Menashe Noy). The girl's father, Gidi (Tzahi Grad), himself a retired military man, also suspects Dror of his involvement and plans to kidnap him.

Dror is first kidnapped by Micki but later both of them are kidnapped by Gidi and taken to an abandoned house in the middle of an area surrounded by Arab villages. Here, both Micki and Gidi take turns torturing Dror, until he convinces Micki that he might after all be innocent. Gidi, a hardened veteran, doesn't fall for the trick and manages to disarm and shackle Micki in his basement.

Upon hearing the made-up story that he might be ill, Gidi's father (Doval'e Glickman) comes to visit him with some hot soup and accidentally encounters the two captives in the basement. Gidi's father, an Army veteran, decides to help his son in tracing his granddaughter's missing head.

Micki—who has in his possession a rusty nail—asks Dror to lie about the location of the girl's head to buy them some time to escape. Gidi then leaves the house to locate his daughter's missing head and Micki also escapes and goes out to look for help. He makes a phone call to the police department, where he learns that his daughter is missing. It then strikes him that Dror referred to his daughter in a conversation while he had no way of knowing that Micki had a daughter.

Gidi searches the described location for his daughter's head but upon not finding anything comes back and starts cutting off Dror's head with a hacksaw.

Micki also reaches the house and tries to ask Dror for the location of his daughter but Dror dies before he can reply.

In the final scene, police officer Rami, who is investigating the case, is shown inspecting Dror's house for any clues. He does not find anything and leaves the house. Micki's daughter is shown unconscious behind a fake wall.



The film was released in Israel on 15 August 2013 and opened in other theatres at the dates given below.

Region Release date Festival or Distributor
U.S.A 21 April 2013 Tribeca Film Festival
U.S.A 4 May 2013 Stanley Film Festival
Canada 26 July 2013 Fantasia International Film Festival
Israel 15 August 2013
UK 26 August 2013 Film4 Frightfest
Germany 27 August 2013 Fantasy Filmfest
USA 11 October 2013 Chicago International Film Festival[4]
Spain 20 October 2013 Sitges Film Festival[5]


The film has received mostly positive reviews,[6] holding an 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


The music for Big Bad Wolves was written by Israeli-born composer Frank Ilfman who had previously worked together with the directors on Rabies. The music was recorded at Air Lyndhurst Studios on 23 December 2012 with the London Metropolitan Orchestra conducted by orchestrator Matthew Slater. The score has been released digitally and on CD by MovieScore Media and Kronos Records.

All music composed by Frank Ilfman.

Big Bad Wolves: Original Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "Big Bad Wolves: Main Theme"   4:15
2. "Hide and Seek: Opening Titles"   4:10
3. "The March"   2:00
4. "Scream for Me"   3:16
5. "The Chair of Horror"   2:41
6. "The Phone Call"   1:46
7. "The Chase"   3:15
8. "Help Me"   2:38
9. "Saved by the Bell"   2:45
10. "A Story About a Little Girl"   4:16
11. "Hammer and Bones"   1:55
12. "Man Rides a Horse"   1:35
13. "The Truth Will Set You Free"   2:42
14. "The Green House"   3:53
15. "Now Talk"   2:00
16. "Bike vs Car"   2:37
17. "The Last Breath"   3:48
18. "The Missing Girl and Epilogue"   4:48
Total length:

Awards and recognition[edit]


External links[edit]