Big Bad Wolves

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Big Bad Wolves
Big Bad Wolves US Theatrical Poster.jpg
US release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Tami Leon
  • Hillick Michaeli
  • Avraham Pirchi
  • Moshe Edery
  • Leon Edery
Written by
  • Aharon Keshales
  • Navot Papushado
Music byHaim Frank Ilfman
CinematographyGiora Bejach
Edited byAsaf Corman
  • United Channel Movies
  • United King Studios
Distributed byMagnet Releasing
Release date
  • 21 April 2013 (2013-04-21) (Tribeca)
  • 15 August 2013 (2013-08-15) (Israel)
Running time
110 minutes[1]
Box office$291,239[2]

Big Bad Wolves (Hebrew: מי מפחד מהזאב הרע‎, Mi mefakhed mehaze'ev hara, direct translation: "Who's afraid of the bad wolf") is a 2013 Israeli black comedy horror-thriller film written and directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, produced by Tami Leon and by Moshe and Leon Edry through their United King Films banner. The film focuses on the story of three Israeli adults which abduct a young school teacher in order to torture and interrogate him about the murder and rape case of a young girl in the woods.

The film was the official selection of Tribeca Film Festival and premiered in the festival on April 21, 2013.[3][4] The film was released on August 15, 2013 in Israel and received overwhelmingly positive reviews across Israel, USA and other countries worldwide and was screened in various other film festivals, mainly for its humor, screenwriting, direction ,torture scenes, acting and originality. Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino praised the film and called it 2013's best film, with his praise being labeled on the film's US poster.


Somewhere in Israel, three children play 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, 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 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. The girl's father, Gidi, 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 fabricated story that he might be ill, Gidi's father 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[5]
Spain 20 October 2013 Sitges Film Festival[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received mostly positive reviews.[7] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 75% based on 69 reviews, with an average rating of 7.13/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "With just enough black humor to lighten the disturbing subject matter, Big Bad Wolves is as rewarding as it is challenging."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9]

Quentin Tarantino called it the best film of 2013.[10]



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 is composed by Frank Ilfman.

Big Bad Wolves: Original Soundtrack
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:53:56


  1. ^ "BIG BAD WOLVES (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Big Bad Wolves (2014) - International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 26 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Big Bad Wolves Archived 20 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine in Tribeca Film Festival Official Website
  4. ^ Big Bad Wolves in Fantasia Festival Official Website
  5. ^ "Chicago Film Festival". Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  6. ^ Sitges Film Festival
  7. ^ "Big Bad Wolves shows the lighter side of vengeance – Israeli film tempers darkness with absurdism". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Big Bad Wolves (2014)". Retrieved 21 May 2020 – via CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Big Bad Wolves". Retrieved 21 May 2020 – via CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Quentin Tarantino Calls Israeli Thriller ‘Big Bad Wolves’ the "Best Film of the Year"

Further reading[edit]

Ido Rosen. "National Fears in Israeli Horror Films." Jewish Film & New Media 8.1 (2020): 77-103.

Ido Rosen. National Fears in Israeli Horror Films. MA Thesis. Tel Aviv University, 2017.

External links[edit]