We normally remember childhood with a lot of fondness, until puberty hits that is. Until then, it’s all bread and roses. Adventures and exciting new experiences are suddenly replaced by a sense of inadequacy and uncomfortableness in your own skin. As our bodies change, so do our minds. Suddenly we find ourselves having new and strange feelings. Looking at the opposite, or same, sex in a different way. Wyrm plays on these themes with a lot of relish.
Set in an alternate reality 1990s, Wyrm Whitman (Theo Taplitz) is not having a good time. Following the death of his older brother, his father spends all his time locked away whilst his mother is off on a trek. Then there’s his twin sister Myrcella (Azure Brandi), who he still shares a room with, although they barely talk. They’re essentially being cared for by their weird Uncle Chet (Tommy Dewey). However, his most pressing concern is the electric collar he has to wear until he finally kisses someone.
No child left alone and in Wyrm there really isn’t. Except for our titular hero who will move heaven and earth to lose the stigma of unattractiveness. This conceit in writer/director Christopher Winterbauer’s indie comedy drama adds a different slant to the teenage coming-of-age story, while retaining all the usual elements. Wyrm works because it mixes playfulness with seriousness to create an unusual and inventive take on a familiar subject.
Wyrm is out in US cinemas, VOD and digital on 10 June.