Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Wolfman

I have heard both good and bad about this film. I know that it is nearly 2 years behind in it's original release date and that is never a good sign. I decided to enter this viewing with an open mind. The tale and original movie was always my favorite of the Universal 'creature features'. Great mood and atmosphere as well as fantastic make-up. Lon Chaney Jr. had no rival in those days.

Benicio Del Toro is a good choice to play the cursed Talbot in this remake. He has those kind of 'hang dog' eyes that are so expressive showing both pain and ennui. The things he has to smile about in this tale become fewer and fewer as the film goes on (as it should be in any gothic horror story).

Victorians were a gloomy bunch to begin with and placing characters in this setting with these events don't make them any less grim. I hate how the Priest is the first one to condemn the 'beast in our midst'. Yeh, okay, he spotted the evil early on but he didn't have to be such a dickhead about it.

Sir Anthony Hopkins sleepwalks through another role that he could have phoned in in his sleep. However, I really liked Hugo Weaving as the detective set the task of hunting down the beast of the title.

The atmosphere is terrific and every scene has the color washed out of it much like fear draws the blood out of our faces. I loved that feeling of dread and gloom that was projected. All of the trappings of the vampire mythology are kept in tact - full moon, silver bullets - passing on of the curse. When the Moors need to be dangerously foggy, they are.

Now, just for my personal aesthetic, I really enjoyed the Wolfman in his pant/shirt/vest look. It was ragged in all the right places but still stylish. The CGI effects of Talbot's transformation and shot of him running across the rooftops of the city are particularly good. I could see Wolfy calming down after a nice 'rant and run' through the city and still being able to show up at a party - well once he combed his face.

The tale is familiar with few surprises. I guessed the twist long before the end but that doesn't matter. I felt they did a good job especially with all the reshoots and re-edits the film went through. A solid rental for sure just not one to share with all the family. There are many gruesome moments of monster mayhem that are not for the little ones.

1 comment:

TS Hendrik said...

Hmm, maybe I'll catch it on video.

I have to say though, why should I shield any children from the evils out there. They've got to learn sooner or later that there are wolfmen lurking about. Better they're prepared.