Based on the primal, male-held view of changes in a woman's body being monstrous, this clever, sympathetic horror-drama offers a fresh, bracing twist on that myth. As Anna experiences her first menstrual cycle, "Daddy" tells her she's "sick," and from there, Wildling follows her as she deals with all of her new feelings and impulses; perhaps they're evil, but they feel good. It helps that Powley, with her wide, expressive eyes, is in the role. She went through similar changes and impulses (albeit in a less supernatural setting) in The Diary of a Teenage Girl.
Wildling is the feature directorial debut of German-born Fritz Bohm, and it's a good first film, finding a smart balance between sympathetic characters who are willing to understand Anna and ugly ones who are quick to judge her. It's also notable that the good characters are brother and sister, with no parents in sight; it's an interesting dynamic. Wildling is a movie whose meanings can be pleasurably picked apart, although it succeeds more fully as a thoughtful movie than as a scary one. (Dourif, known for his work as "Chucky," was doubtless cast for his horror movie clout, but Bohm doesn't seem interested in superficial scares.) And, of course, the movie's theme isn't exactly original (see Carrie, Ginger Snaps, Teeth, It Follows, Raw, etc.), but at least Bohm tackles it with renewed energy.