Wolfman returns to the big screen

Michael J. Fox nowhere to be seen
Article by: Derek Anderson

An old school horror flick remade, The Wolfman (Universal Pictures, 2010) tore onto the big screen last weekend, but fell short on its attempt to show an evolution of an old monster tale.

The movie starts off with Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returning back to his childhood home in England upon receiving a letter of concern from  his brother’s fiancé (Emily Blunt) informing him that he has gone missing. When he arrives home, his father (Anthony Hopkins) greets him and tells him that his brother was found savagely ripped apart in a ditch alongside the road. Curious about the death of his brother, Lawrence stays at his hometown and searches for him. In his searching, Lawrence is bitten by a werewolf and survives, soon becoming the thing that tore his family apart. The conflict between inner beast and man is dragged into reality at every full moon and chaos ensues.

And chaos did ensue, but not in the best way. When going to a horror film, an audience usually expects gratuitous gore and puts the aspects of plot and character development on the sidelines. These aspects, however, cannot be completely disregarded, and The Wolfman was lacking heavily in these areas. Although the acting was superb, there was little to no time spent on developing their characters and giving them background. Many questions were left unanswered throughout the movie, leaving the audience confused, forcing them to just accept what is happening. If the plot had been worked into the movie in a better fashion, it really would have bumped the flick up from just another monster movie.

The plot also moved sporadically. The beginning was a build to Lawrence’s encounter with the werewolf and his transformation. It took a half an hour or so for anything to really happen, but it worked quite well in a suspenseful sort of way. After that, the story kicks it into high gear and launches off into an insane spiral of events all at once. Not enough time was spent on the werewolf action and the mystery of the story is unveiled far too early.

The Wolfman was not a complete flop, though. As stated before, the actors made their characters come alive and gave them as much depth as possible. Del Toro plays the conflicted hero extremely well as he tries to live down the beast inside him. Hopkins delivers a wonderful performance as always, as does Hugo Weaving, who plays the antagonistic police officer on the wolfman’s trail. It was Blunt’s role, however, that really showed great depth. She took a token romance character and made it into something more. Unfortunately, it seems the actors were all a little bored with their roles, because there wasn’t much given to them from the writing.

The cinematography was also commendable throughout the film. The setting was perfectly eerie and gothic with fog and a washout tone. It worked perfectly and gave the audience a sense of mystery and uneasiness.

The violence and gore, however, are defining features of any horror movie. This is what most people would go to see The Wolfman for. Although it lacked sufficient amounts of “kill scenes,” the ones that were present were, to put it simply, pure awesomeness. With limbs and guts flying in every direction, accompanied by large pools of blood as well as decapitation, the action was great. It definitely had some top-notch fatalities and was what made the movie as fun as it was.

In the end, the movie was fun, but lacking in too many areas to spend 10 bucks on. While The Wolfman will be pleasing for die-hard werewolf enthusiasts, it’s best to let this one come out on DVD before spending money on it.