Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Wolfman

What seems like a cursed film put through many re-shoots and changes, it might have made more of a monster than the Wolfman himself!

Ah! Valentine's Day! And what better way to spend time with a loved one than sat in a cinema watching a good ol' scary movie. I was a bit dubious at first seeing as the reviews were bad, and The News Of The World gave it 8/10. Not a good start. But I held judgement until it started.
I'd already heard about the whole saga in creating this film and the trailer looked a bit ... weird. There was also the fact that The Wolfman himself, as you can see from the pic looks a bit, well, shit.
Now, where do I start? The story's 'twist' is a bit predictable and the whole film feels a bit lost. The general Gothic darkness of it all is impressive, it does look like it should be an old Hammer horror or something, but this can't really compensate for the fact that it is flawed in so many other areas.
Firstly, Del Toro feels like he is completely not bothered about the character. He's broody, but that's about it. He's also quite fat. Emily Blunt does her bit as a caring damsel but she keeps leaving and coming back and it's all a bit much. Do they really love each other? They only really share a couple of 'romantic' scenes and there's not any spark between them I could see. Hopkins does okay, his classic old wise man persona he has given in Dracula, Zorro, Beowulf etc. gets another outing and to be honest, it was quite enjoyable. Hugo Weaving is not used as much as I would have liked, as his character was a completely 2D Victorian copper. The other 'characters' (Priest/Local drunk/Gypsy woman/Doctor whatever) are absolutely abysmal and the way they all share the Wolfman story in the pub was embarrassing to watch. It felt like that shit pub scene in Lesbian Vampire Killers.
So how about the Wolfman himself? A CG nightmare and his hairy face does hark back to the 20's, 30s Werewolf films, but they could have done something more inventive. It also seems to take a while before you get any Del Toro as a werewolf based action. Throughout the film, he only turns about 3 or 4 times.
The whole story just runs from one scenario to the other with the only real 'fear' coming from the fact it is very, very jumpy. If you don't like to jump in films, don't bother. The gore is good, and is another saving grace. But things like the howling were awkward, the CG-ness looked dated and it all felt a bit wasted.
The idea of a werewolf is the hidden human desire to kill, a regression back to our primitive state but it seems to be more to do with his obsession with his father. Which could work, 'a father's sins ...' etc., but instead of concentrating on how similar they are, that how he hates him but is exactly like him, it instead just turns into some kind of rivalry to do with his mother, and not in an oedipal way either.
There just isn't enough to make it worth while, it all feels like a bit of a mess. Like everyone had the best intentions but just couldn't pull it off. If you're gonna watch it, watch it for the gore, you can see it on your TV - doesn't have to be cinema and whatever you do, don't get scared. Because you won't be.

Rating: 5/10

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