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The Wolf House (original Spanish title: La Casa Lobo) is a 2018 Stop Motion Chilean animated film by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña. It is presented as a fairytale-like propaganda film for a cult heavily based on Colonia Dignidad (Dignity Colony), a secretive organization founded by German émigrés which became infamous for the internment, torture, and murder of dissidents during Pinochet's dictatorship.

A disobedient woman named Maria (Amalia Kassai) flees the community after letting three pigs escape, taking refuge in an isolated house in the woods where she finds two pigs. Naming them Pedro and Ana, Maria imagines them as her children and they begin to grow humanlike attributes until they are completely human. As they live an isolated, idyllic life, a wolf stalks them from outside, imploring Maria to come back... but soon Maria realizes the wolf may not be the only thing she has to worry about.

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Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Being unable to protect your children, as Maria is unable to prevent hers from burning in the house fire. And then being active hunted by your children when food runs low.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The wolf. Arguably, the pigs, even though they don't stay pigs.
  • Antagonist Title: For 80% of the film's runtime until the end, the wolf stalking Maria and her children is the main antagonist.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Ana and Pedro try to kill and eat Maria when they have no more food.
  • Author Tract: The end Aesop is essentially "Blind Obedience is key and never question your community's leaders or try to escape". Justified, as it's an indoctrination film for a cult.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Since in-universe the film is a propaganda film, the movie unsurprisingly ends with Maria being taken back to the colony after admitting the wolf "was right", and the final narration mentions she continues living there, "helping" children from other parts from Chile to join the colony.
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  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted. In some shots, Maria's anatomically correct naked body is constructed before her clothes are painted on after.
  • Blind Obedience: In the end, Maria learns that this is the true way to go about life when the wolf saves her from her children. This is a deliberate Esoteric Happy Ending, of course.
  • Body Horror: As Maria begins to imagine the pigs as her children, they grow human hands and feet.
    • When a house fire starts and accidentally burns the children, black paint pours from all their orifices.
  • Creepy Child: Pedro and Ana when there's no more food in the house.
  • Children Are Cruel: As soon as Maria can no longer provide for Pedro and Ana, the two turn against their mother and eventually try to kill her. Could be considered Laser-Guided Karma, as Pedro and Ana are in part this way because Maria taught them the values of her cult (never leave the house, never be disobedient) when teaching them to be human.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: As it is lampooning the values of the real life Nazi-led cult that the in-universe cult is based on, when Maria imagines the children to be more "beautiful", they transform from brown-haired children to cherubic children with blue eyes and blond hair. She also mentions how the community withheld medicine from "the dark-skinned children" because they were considered stupid and inferior.
  • Deliberate VHS Quality: The opening segment, which is made with live-action footage.
  • Deranged Animation: Yeah... doubly so when the Wolf is outside and Maria's children turn against her.
  • Enfant Terrible: The children.
  • Environmental Symbolism: The house is an Empathic Environment that shifts to reflect Maria's emotional state. It actively un- and re-builds itself as the camera moves around.
  • Eye Color Change: When Pedro and Ana eat the honey, their eyes turn blue. Starts as Innocent Blue Eyes, becomes Creepy Blue Eyes when they start turning against their mother.
  • Grimmification: While this isn't a straight adaptation of The Three Little Pigs, the movie still takes some aspects from that story (Maria finding and adopting two pigs, a "wolf" stalking the main characters from outside their house) and puts a more sinister twist on them.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Maria is a good-hearted, if not disobedient, blonde young woman. Subverted with her children. They become more monstrous when they gain blond hair.
  • Horror Hunger: When they run out of food, Maria's children slowly turn against her and eventually try to eat her.
  • Medium Blending: The film uses Stop Motion, 2D wall-painted animation, and paper mache to create the constantly shifting atmosphere of the house.
  • Minimalist Cast: Other than the figures seen briefly in the introduction, it's just Maria, Pedro & Ana, and the wolf.
  • The Oner: The film is shot to look like the camera is continuously moving through the rooms of the house in real time.
  • Papa Wolf: The Wolf is a subversion. He presents himself as this to Maria, but he's really a Control Freak cult leader.
  • Partial Transformation: During their slow transformation to human, the pigs gain human hands and feet.
  • Psychological Horror: The film's constantly shifting visuals represent Maria's emotional state throughout the story, and there are some very unsettling images on display.
  • This Is Reality: Living an idyllic life with her children in the woods seems like a dream for a while, until you run out of food.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • The wolf is not just a cult leader, but specifically former Nazi and child abuser Paul Schäfer. The in-universe cult is also all but stated to be the real-life Colonia Dignidad.
  • Say My Name: Mariiiiiaaaaaaaaaa...
  • Signature Style: The film uses wall-painted animation, which was implemented in the directors' former works, Lucía and Luis.
  • Surreal Horror: The film uses Stop Motion to show constantly shifting visuals, resulting in a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere that makes everything seem all the more unsettling.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: As the isolation starts to set in, Maria begins to see the two pigs in the house as children.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Pedro and Ana plot to kill and eat their mother once they have no more food.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Since the story is in-universe propaganda masquerading as a fairy tale, the narrator tries to frame his cult as a perfectly harmless commune when it clearly isn't (especially since it's based on Colonia Dignidad, a real life cult led by a former Nazi and child abuser).

Alternative Title(s): La Casa Lobo

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