TV puzzles can be one of the most frustrating pastimes: an accumulation of false suspicions, forced clues, and the feeling that when you solve the plot, you don't exactly have a dramatic story but a flat experience. The adaptations of Harlan Coben's novels are the best example of this style of contrived thriller where placing the pieces is the only attraction. And, while Wolf should fit into this category because of the way the story is set up and developed, this one is crazy enough to enjoy and defend.
It is based on Mo Hayder's novels about Inspector Jack Caffrey, here played by Okweli Roach. Megan Gallagher writes and directs this complicated mess to explain. Inspector Caffrey has returned to London with his new partner because he is unable to separate himself from a personal tragedy that has obsessed him: when he was eight years old, his ten-year-old brother disappeared without a trace. He always assumed that he was kidnapped by the neighbor (Anthony Webster), a disturbing man with a history who still watches him through the window to this day, although they found no evidence in his house and, in fact, the body of his brother. has never been recovered.
In parallel, the Anchor-Ferrers couple (Juliet Stevenson and Owen Teale) settle into their majestic second residence in the countryside with their daughter Lucia (Annes Elwy). The husband needs to rest after heart surgery but they soon discover that this will be impossible: they find something in the garden that tells them that a psychopath could be on the loose: the man who disemboweled two teenagers five years earlier and who was theoretically in prison. However, when two police officers (Iwan Rheon and Sacha Dhawan) show up at their house to reveal something terrible that has happened in the neighborhood, their peaceful stay goes even further wrong.
Talking about Wolf, for the record, is complicated because his virtues (which are there) are not without defects. As a screenwriter, Megan Gallagher has fun with the material she adapts. She is aware that it is far-fetched, that it includes twists and turns to understand the facts and connect them, that it offers absurd clues and that it portrays a somewhat absurd country community. There are raves, snakes, horror movie addicts, apathetic teenagers and even slap influencers. But she moves with self-confidence through thriller, comedy, sadism and even the hooks that she places without blushing.
At the same time, possibly due to airing on the BBC in the United Kingdom and the level of humor in the production, the creator does not push the viewer as far as she should. It is as if the script was so bad-tempered that she was afraid of creating scenes with excess tension or atmosphere: she resists the impulse to produce unbreathable scenes even though the text could give rise to this. So that we understand each other, it could be Funny games at certain moments and prefers to tone down the tone with a sense of humor and a lighter atmosphere construction. This way of stopping turns Wolf into a more accessible but less daring thriller.
Luckily, it always moves forward. Offers unexpected moments. And, when it comes time to fit the pieces of the main mystery, a priori they fit together. Therefore, it is a solvent entertainment with a touch of twisted humor for those who prefer to do without the functional drama of textbook thrillers.