The Wolfman is a throw-back to the classic horror movies. If you like that genre – then you’ll love this film. While it is a remake of the 1941 film – it has enough new and old styles mixed together to make it something truly unique.
I attended the screening here in Atlanta for the film this last Wednesday, and I have to say I was truly amazed at the reaction of the lucky radio winners and other audience members who screamed and shreaked at all the right moments. The fans must have been in heaven to be surrounded by people as passionate about the genre as they were – and to be viewing such a well-done remake.
The film starts out slowly as Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns home to his father’s (Anthony Hopkins) castle. It becomes clear early-on that there is a problem in the small town with some sort of wild beast that is attacking people for no reason. Lawrence ends up bitten by the beast and thus infected. As the next full moon rolls around, the infection has taken hold and he transforms into a werewolf. The next day, he is unwillingly commited to a Victorian metal institution where he is subjected to rather harsh and unfair treatment. The doctors believe he’s crazy, because everyone knows – there’s no such things as werewolves. At this point, the audience really gets behind Lawrence – rooting for him to seek his much deserved revenge.
My only real problem is the pointless attacks. There seems to be no motivation for the brutal and oh-so-gory attacks. While towards the end, we do get to witness a rather intense and bloody fight that has a clear motivator. But perhaps motivation is not an important factor as it’s clearly part of the fear that these creatures illicit.
The film doesn’t really have any lighter moments. There isn’t any real comedic relief, which in return, helps to build the tension all the more. The angles, the cuts, and the overall style helps to set a very classical tone to the film. And the transformation scenes – something that everyone that wants to see this film is surely curious about – are graphic and well-done.
The film had the perfect cast. Benicio Del Toro’s posture and demeanor seemed perfect for Lawrence – and provided a smooth transition, in the mind of the viewer, for a werewolf. Anthony Hopkins was amazing as always as the father with a dark side. Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving also gave strong performances with what the script gave them to work with. I did feel that the script could have offered a bit more for these seasoned actors to play with – but with these movies, the focus is more on the shock-and-awe factors than the actual script.
While this isn’t my genre of choice – I can definitely say that it was enjoyable. And those that are fans of the genre seemed like they had a new favorite film to add to their list. It’s definitely worth checking out – just be prepared for a lot of jumping, screaming, and blood. After all, it’s a deliciously dark horror film.
Review By: Emma Loggins