I have a thing for horror movies. Not mindlessly gory films, mind you; but just good, scary movies. I am especially fond of the “classic” scary films—those that involve ghosts, vampires, and werewolves. Now, my husband will say that a good zombie flick is the best type of creepy movie out there; but as for me, the werewolf films scared me the most.
If I were to examine this fear from a psychological perspective, I may come to the conclusion that I fear lycanthropy because it represents a lack of control. When the afflicted human shifts to wolf/werewolf form, they always end up on a rampage and are unable to stop (or usually remember) the events. For a control freak, that is super terrifying. However, I could also just have had a fear of these monstrous creatures (yes, even before Taylor Lautner) on the big screen. And I blame G’mork for this. He scared/scares the unholy shit out of me in The Neverending Story. Yeah, I know technically he may not be a werewolf, but he is a creepy ass talking dog thing with giant fangs and glowy eyes. That’s the stuff nightmares are made of. Well, that and finding myself in Mr. Johnson’s high school calculus class only to find out I have a test and I haven’t studied for it! Oh fudge.
Needless to say, The Wolfman made its way to my queue and eventually into my home. I wish I could say I was a better person because I watched it. Or at least a more entertained person. I cannot.
The Wolfman stars Benicio Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, a British man with an American accent which the film attempts to explain away by saying he works in NYC (not buying it). Upon hearing about the death of his brother, Lawrence decides to pay a visit to his dad, Sir John Talbot (played by Anthony Hopkins). While there, Lawrence learns that there have been several vicious attacks in the area recently—and his brother’s violent death was a result of one such incident. Of course, he resolves to get to the bottom of his brother’s death. Because apparently in that part of England, full moons happen more often than anywhere else in the world, Lawrence is attacked by a creature in the night. He survives the attack, only to discover he has lycanthropic tendencies. I think there are now pills for that.
I was actually looking forward to this film. I love a good “classic” horror movie. Love. Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Dracula was amazing; and I was hoping this would be even half as good. Hell, I would have settled for one third as good. Drat.
I suppose I have a lot of issues with this film. First, there is something off about the directing. Yeah, I know it is from the same person who brought us Jurassic Park 3; and it should have been a good fit for me, but it just seemed off (p.s. Don’t ask how I got the T-Rex pee). Even the intro scene seemed cheesy. My husband said it reminded him of an intro to a Showtime movie. While I can’t verify that because I have never had Showtime, it was a generic opening. Picture this: a random man (let’s call him John Doe) running through a shadowy forest under the light of a full moon. He is chased by something. Fearfully he turns his head to the left when he hears a sound. Nothing. He whips his head to the right, only to see a few birds fly into the night air. As he exhales a sigh of relief, a dimly lit [hairy] figure with talons the size of raptor claws slashes poor Mr. Doe into bits. Oh, did I mention it was probably his last day before retirement and that he had a wife, kids, and a lot to live for? Man, that werewolf is a dick.
The effects also disappointed me. Word on the street was that there were some phenomenal practical effects in The Wolfman. Now, I realize that stylistically, the movie is alluding to the 1941 Wolfman film (or Teen Wolf), but it just ended up looking a bit cheesy to me (which contradicted the tone of the film). However, I found the transformation scenes to be acceptable; so I guess there’s that.
Also, I expected more from the acting. With actors like Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, and Hugo Weaving (the elf king!), I was prepared to be enthralled by the sheer brilliance of onscreen talent. But that didn’t happen. I can’t put my finger on it, because the performances weren’t bad, per se; but just a little underwhelming.
Was The Wolfman horrible? Probably not. But it was a letdown for me. Perhaps if I had watched it with low expectations, I would have found it more enjoyable. Stupid expectations ruining movies for me. Sorry, Wolfman; I am going to have to watch the third season of True Blood to see if it can clear the good name of werewolves everywhere. Fingers crossed.
Thanks for reading and have a super duper day!
Netflix Queue: 483