Tzahi Grad and Rotem Keinan in Big Bad Wolves.

Quentin Tarantino called Big Bad Wolves the best film of 2013. While I wouldn’t go that far, I will declare it last year’s best horror film—and a tremendous filmmaking feat from directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. They figured out how to wring laughter out of a movie that features child abductions and murders, extreme torture and police beatings.

When a girl goes missing and is eventually murdered, a cop turned vigilante, Micki (Lior Ashkenazi), and the girl’s father, Gidi (Tzahi Grad), wind up taking matters into their own hands with a suspect, Dror (Rotem Keinan).

The three partake in a grueling session of psychological and physical torture aimed at revealing the murderer of Gidi’s daughter and other children. Dror, Gidi and Micki all become good, classic suspects in the child murders. Dror, a nebbish type with a young daughter of his own, seems too innocuous to be innocent. Gidi, a former member of the Lebanese army, is a little too sick in his torture methods to be completely exonerated. Micki, although he seems good-natured and perhaps moral, has a sadistic side for sure.

The whole film wouldn’t work if any of these actors were off by one beat. Keinan is especially good at garnering sympathy while possibly depicting one of the worst kinds of people to ever walk the planet. This is a film in which the torturer who has lost his child and the cop trying to bring the murderer to justice are, more or less, the bad guys.

The film is available via various online sources, including iTunes and