The Wolfman ***


It is so refreshing to see a horror movie where the filmmakers pride themselves in mood, atmosphere, locations and scary special effects.  These days get nothing but torture porn and god awful remakes.  Now I have gone and contradicted myself because “The Wolfman” is a remake.  But what separates it from the pack is that it is made as a fully realized motion picture as opposed to just a mindless gore fest. 

This is one of those rare movies that I could probably watch with no sound, simply to just regard the sets, costumes, make up effects and visual effects.  I love the gothic look, especially when done in a period movie set in 1891 Britain.  Give me dark, fog filled forests, damp creeks, open country sides and run down mansions any day.  If anything it at least tells me the filmmakers want to set the mood. 

The story follows a stage actor named Lawrence Talbot, played effectively by Benicio Del Toro.  He is heading home to the country side to attend the funeral of his brother whom was killed by a savage beast.  We meet his father, played deliciously by Anthony Hopkins, who hams it up accordingly.  We meet his brother’s wife played by Emily Blunt, who is a satisfactory damsel in distress.

Word in the local pubs is that there may be a monster lurking in the surrounding forest.  I can’t get enough of scenes set in 19th century taverns, where the patrons discuss local lore and debate curses.  Of course there is a werewolf on the loose.  Eventually Lawrence is attacked and transforms in to a werewolf himself. 

The werewolf scenes are pretty intense.  There is plenty of savage killings and blood to satisfy any horror fans.  The transformation scenes are also excellent in a technical sense.  These days CGI is blended with traditional makeup.   Personally I miss the nostalgic feeling I would get when seeing nothing but puppetry and makeup.

I liked “The Wolfman” a lot more then I was expecting to.  I appreciated the look and feel of the whole production but there is nothing really new here. It is better then most Friday night entertainments but still had a lot to live up to as the original is a classic.  Still if you want a classically made monster movie then this is it.


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