Synopsis: A nobleman contracts a horrible curse while searching for his brother, turning him into a monster.
Release Date: February 12, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Thriller, Action Adventure
Staying true to B-movie aesthetics “The Wolfman” toys with the notion of serious horror and kitschy elegance. The hauntingly dark and forbearing countryside is engulfed in the mystery of a beast who hunts on the full moon, ripping his prey down to their bones. It is this beast that engages the viewer, causing both laughter at the cheap thrill of seeing him appear in flashes on the screen, his teeth barred ready to bite. Or the sudden burst of distress that engulfs you as he swiftly kills his victim, leaving the body (or body parts) sliced on the ground. The film appears to know it is not, and cannot be, taken seriously. Joe Johnston, the Director, makes sure of that with his choices to frighten while being playful with dialogue and the scenarios at hand. It never reaches a campy level, and this is to be thankful for, as it is a well-rounded story if somewhat predicable in its twists. Overall, its not going to change or develop the horror genre, or the tale of the Wolfman, in any manner; but it just may make you have a bit of fun for a couple of hours in the dark.
Beware of the insert for that is what will make you jump in your seat or choke a bit on the piece of popcorn you just tried to swallow. The film as a whole is not exactly scary. Covering your eyes is never needed nor is the sound/score used to make it more menacing and frightful. What is scary is the unknown. Tension and suspense is built around the quickness and seemingly unstoppable force of the Wolfman. He glides through crowds, ripping bodies to shreds, and you never even see him. His movements are so quick you do not know what to expect next or when to expect it. This can be scary for some although the tone never reaches an all out freaky level to where you are shaking in your seat. More mildly amused at how the movie is playing with your main sense, that of sight, as it refuses to let you see the enemy up close and personal for most of the movie except when it throws out of nowhere an insert of his beastly face. You may laugh but at the same time your heart just started to beat a little bit faster.
This is not your Dad’s Wolfman; but its not a futuristic version either. The Wolfman is one part hairy beast, with a more plastic prosthetic-like facial appearance, and another part CGI rendered metamorphosis. Watching the hands break and re-form to compensate for his razor sharp claws and grow hair slowly and deliberately is pure CGI FX mastery. Seeing his face in close-up on the screen in its altered state, with teeth begging to bite, and the movability of every inch of the face to portray the raw monster emotion lying within is quite simply Rick Baker make-up brilliance. This man beast is all we could ask for and more. Every close-up of his snarling face only makes it better.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Joe JohnstonRick Yorn
- Producer(s): Andrew Kevin WalkerDavid SelfBenicio Del Toro (Lawrence Talbot)
- Screenwriter(s): Anthony Hopkins (Sir John Talbot)Emily Blunt (Gwen Conliffe)Hugo Weaving (Inspector Francis Abberline)
- Cast: Walter MurchDennis VirklerShelly JohnsonRick Heinrichs
- Editor(s): Milena Canonero
- Cinematographer: Paul HaslingerDouble Negative
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s): Lidar ServicesMoving Picture Company (MPC)
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USAUK