Ah, the werewolf — the neglected furry, loyal lapdog of the supernatural set. All he wants is to be noticed — you know, scratch behind the ears, and be told he’s a “good dog”. Instead, much of the attention that should be rightfully his goes to the bloodsucking vampires who always grace the silver screen.
It’s just not fair. When is someone going to even the score?
Enter film director Joe Johnston. Starting his film career with the original Star Wars, his post-Wolfman films are already set with Jurassic Park IV and Captain America.
In remaking the 1941 film The Wolfman, Johnston had a tough road to travel. But it got tougher, when the production of The
Wolfman was hamstrung by the writers strike a couple years ago. It’s enough to pull your fur out, but Johnston didn’t whine about it, nor pick any bones, he just barked out orders when the time came and the production was on. It also helped to have a stellar cast.
The movie opens on a marshy English countryside called Blackmoor. A man is murdered by something fast and strong, with sharp claws. Later, Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro), a well-known Shakespearean actor, returns home to the ancestral manor to help lay his brother to rest. He gets an odd welcome from his father (Anthony Hopkins), and the gloomy, run-down manor doesn’t make him feel any easier.
When he checks out the mutilated corpse of his brother, he finds a medallion. This leads him to a gypsy village that night, where he witnesses the power of a hunting werewolf. This attack, impressive in it’s rendition and ruthless speed and fury, quickly clocks an impressive death toll. Talbot doesn’t die, but his wounds from the furry attacker ensures his life is about to get much more interesting. Let’s just say it’s a good thing cars hadn’t been invented yet, because he might want to chase them. Furred and fanged fun and mayhem is the order of the day after that.
Let’s be clear, The Wolfman is not a film for the Twilight set. This is an old-school, violent, horror film. This story is heaped in tragedy and the supernatural.
So get ready for some stylish, well-made horror like hasn’t been made in a while. It may be just what the veterinarian ordered.