In Time of the Wolf, an unspecified apocalyptic catastrophe has plunged rural France (and, presumably, the rest of the world) into chaos and darkness, though Michael Haneke’s film begins not with exposition about this disaster but, rather, with squatters murdering a family man in his vacation cottage. This shocking crime propels his widow Anna (Isabelle Huppert) and children Eva (Anais Demoustier) and Ben (Lucas Biscombe) into the vast unknown of the empty, fog-shrouded countryside, where the distraught trio vainly attempts to hold onto societal customs (such as during Ben’s funeral for his dead bird) and their sanity. Eventually the three nomads join a train station commune where stragglers wait (with seemingly misguided hope) for a locomotive that’ll bring them back to civilization, and through the various mini-dramas that play out at the crowded refugee camp, Haneke implies that these (and all) people – as a result of their selfishness, brutality and inability to empathetically communicate with each other – are responsible for the current crisis. Time of the Wolf’s second half doesn't quite live up to the film’s ominous, terrifying early moments (including a farmhouse scene lit only by a cigarette lighter and burning hay), and the director/writer’s dialogue (especially with regards to two religious-themed conversations about salvation) can occasionally be clumsy. Yet as an austere vision of society’s tenuousness and man’s potential for self-destruction, Haneke’s film has a feral intensity.