The Wolfman- Somewhere between Twighlight and Good

16 Feb

A re-make of the classic 40’s Horror flick, The Wolfman is either a campy-horror movie good for a few laughs, or a legit horror film that doesn’t deliver what it promises.

I mean it’s got Benicio del Toro as the victimized actor turned baying at the moon man killer, Anthony Hopkins as the villainously distant father with a past, and Emily Blunt as the redemptive love interest. With a quality haunting score by Danny Elfman (Big Fish and Sleepy Hollow), putting every girl/woman on the edge of her seat, it looks like you’ve got a pretty real horror film on your hands. And then you watch the movie.

Joe Johnston direction (Jurassic Park III, October Sky and Jumanji) never seems to really find out where he wants to the movie to go as its ambivalently wondering tone is accented by a rushed pacing, which makes you feel like he just wants to get the movie over as quickly as possible. Which he does very successfully with a runtime of only 102, it feels more like a Pixar movie than a real horror film.

What makes it worse is that Del Toro seems to actually believe that he’s making a serious horror movie, that could actually be truly haunting.  Unfortunately, though his quality and abilities can’t seem to force the movie beyond the campy dialogue and action sequences, which make you laugh more than shriek.

Anthony Hopkins, on the other hand, seems to recognize the campy nature of the movie and somehow manages to silently wink at the viewer, as if to say…ah just go along with it. Although, he too puts worth a fairly valiant effort to make something out of very little, but to little avail.

Continuing the confusion of style is the bizarre mixture old school makeup,and new age CGI. On the one hand, when Del Toro dawns the Rick Baker makeup and furry wolfman-costume,  there is a quality darkness and Victorian Gothic that really makes you think this is a quality horror film. Then that illusion of goodness fades as the CGI wolfman runs at a lighting pace through the foggy woods to gorily rip a guy to pieces,  and then I feel like I’m watching Underworld 2.

It’s a simple enough story, Lawrence (Del Toro) comes home to help track down his brother’s mysterious killer, who some believe to be a monster.  When Lawrence finds the gypsies with-whom is brother had some business, because Victorian era land owners often dealt didn’t discriminate based on class when doing business, the monster acts and in the mayhem he is bitten. After an oddly quick recovery from his injuries a full moon rises and Lawrence turns a bit wolfish and goes on a killing spree.

Unfortunately,  when he wakes up the next morning Scotland Yard (Hugo Weaving)  is waiting to take the still blood stained Lawrence to an insane asylum, because they just can’t believe in a man turned wolf story they assume he’s crazy. But of course that goes horribly wrong and the wolfman is unleashed on London for a night, spreading his semi-cartoonist wolf cry to the streets. Enter Gwen (Emily Blunt) the beauty who has the power the redeem the tortured Lawrence.

It all seems good enough on paper, but the proof as they say is in the pudding and in this case that pudding is the rich creamy goodness of chocolate with the flashy, and periodically good lemon…fine apart, but confusing together.


2 Responses to “The Wolfman- Somewhere between Twighlight and Good”

  1. wembo100 February 17, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    diss film was wicked

  2. wembo100 February 17, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    not scary enough

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