The Wolfman


This weekend the weather was lovely and some how I managed to spend it inside a theater watching "The Wolfman".

Mario swims away, just in time to get his ticket.

I had originally planned not to see this movie until it hit Netflix, but I was persuaded otherwise and I am glad I was. Despite several flaws it is a solid flick. I don't have many complaints about it but I will mention them so you know what your in for if you decide to go.WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!

Jumpy Storyline: I know a lot of movies are guilty of this today, but this one is particularly guilty of feeling a bit like its being told second hand by a friend that doesn't remember all the details. "Ok so there is this guy, from America, he is an actor I guess, his dad is rich or something, also his mom was Spanish?" etc...
Personally my favorite part about monsters and supernatural thrillers is the history of events and lore that lead to how things currently are; Brotherhood of the Wolf gets it right, The Wolfman does not.

Confusing Passages of Time: This one really bugged me. So Benecio Del Toro arrives in England and its like 2 days after they find out his brother is dead and his dead brothers widow starts putting the Victorian moves on him. He gets bitten and it seems like he is recovering for several weeks, but really its a few days. Near the end of the movie there is a travel sequence where all the major plot characters are converging at a single point all traveling from different locations, Agent Smith by carriage, brothers fiance by carriage, Benicio on foot.. but it seems like they all arrive at the same time. It could be that the carriages arrived ahead of Benicio.. but I would think in the small town that dead bro wife and Elrond would have met up at some point, but there is a scene near the climax where the two of them see each other like they didn't know the other one was in the damn town..

Shitty Acting: Seriously, everybody fucking phoned it in with characters from past movies with a minor twist. Anthony Hopkins was Hannibal Lector + Scotch and a beard. Hugo Weaving was Agent Smith + Some Tea and a wicked Mustache. Benicio Del Toro was well.. Benicio Del Toro but angrier. None of the other characters even mattered so they are hardly worth mentioning.

Weak Dialogue: Dead Bro Wife: Did they hurt your shoulder?

Benicio: No, in fact it feels much better, stronger, I held back three of them.

Dead Bro Wife: Well that's good.

That may not be word for word.. but its pretty damn close...

Ok, enough about the bad, because despite these things I still really enjoyed the movie. I know it has some bad reviews.. but I think it is largely from people not understanding what they were trying to accomplish with this film. I think "THe Wolfman" was not only a re-make and homage to the original "Wolfman" but it was also an attempt to make monsters scary again in a traditional manor. Kind of like a re-boot on the genre. Strip out the sexuality, the shaky cameras, and torture and make a classic horror film. I think they did a good job. Here are my favorite points.

Classic Horror Gore: I am not talking like the stuff in Hostel or Saw 3000. This is good old fashioned a monster is fucking shit up gore. Decapitation, limbs go flying, lots and lots of intestines. You don't spend five minutes watching someones eye get penetrated by a rusty needle, you see a man.. who is also a wolf, with big ass claws tearing the shit out of superstitious villagers.

Classic Superstitious Villagers: The Key to a good superstitious villager is the right amount of ignorance and bigotry to make you kind of cheer for the monster when he turns them into fleshy piles of meat. They distrust strangers, cause misunderstandings, and ultimately you feel a little guilty about it, but face it, you enjoyed watching them pay for their bigotry and fear no matter how well founded it is. This dynamic is then contrasted by when the monster suddenly kills people you actually consider innocent, Wolfman does this well by having a scene where a few minutes after Woflicio del Toro kills the doctors that tormented him in the asylum he breaks into a trolly he caused to crash and proceeds to shred everyone inside. It makes you suddenly realize that maybe you shouldn't be siding with the monster.. and it makes you feel guilty about how you felt about the villagers killed earlier in the film.

Cinematography: One thing I really liked about "The Wolfman" were how some of the scenes were handled by the camera. You can feel the isolation and ominous nature of the manor and its grounds, the whole film feels very cold and damp with an air of suspense which I really enjoyed.

Overall, I would recommend seeing it in theaters, but try and catch a Matinee.

YouTube disabled embedding so the Trailer is here.

<< previous next >>