Troubled 12-year-old Sam heads off on a summer camping trip with his Cub Scout troupe. When the highly imaginative boy claims to have seen a creature in the woods, his counselors assume that their campfire tales of a monster named Kai have gotten to him. But watching from the darkness is a real masked, feral child whose menacing snarl and quick movements go unnoticed by all except Sam. As the mocking taunts of the other boys isolate Sam further from his pack, he becomes convinced that a terrible fate awaits them all.

Cub is a Belgian slasher movie that’s having its North American debut at TIFF’s Midnight Madness series, and man, it looks pretty good. Sure, it has all the tropes of a generic slasher film, like the weirdo in a mask stalking kids at a summer camp, but I feel that, as the horror genre continues to grow, we’ve been moving away from the summer camp setting that was especially popular in the 1980’s. I miss that! It’s nice to see someone bring it back.

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