The Wolfman MAG

September 29, 2010
By Michael Lang BRONZE, Nashua, New Hampshire
Michael Lang BRONZE, Nashua, New Hampshire
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Recently I saw the remake of the 1941 horror classic “The Wolfman,” and to my surprise, it was entertaining.

Director Joe Johnston ­(“October Sky,” “Jurassic Park 3”) and his special-effects team do a wonderful job creating a world that accurately depicts life in the late 1800s; the quality of the set design was state-of-the-art. The score by Danny Elfman was great too, adding to the tension and suspense. And with an estimated $100 million budget, it should look great.

The film stars the perfectly cast Benicio Del Toro in the title role, and he delivers a standout performance. His expressions of self-pity are real and believable, which shows why he is one of the better working character actors today. Alongside him are Emily Blunt as a widow-turned-love-interest, Hugo Weaving as a detective whose only goal is to bring down the Wolfman, and Anthony Hopkins as his devious father.

The film opens with an intensely bloody death that instantly prepares the audience for what is to come. Yes, this film is incredibly gory, and at times unnecessarily so, but that is what can be expected from horror films these days. While I couldn't help but look away a few times, the rest of the movie was so well done that I couldn't stop watching, with the sheer beauty of the visuals and production quality.

The premise is simple: A man (Del Toro) returns home following the gruesome death of his brother only to be attacked and bitten by a mysterious beast on the night of a full moon. He's badly injured but during the next month, he appears to recover with the help of his deceased brother's fiancée (Blunt). Nothing happens until the next full moon, when he becomes the same monster that bit him, the Wolfman. As I said, it's simple, clichéd, and at times predictable, but I found myself really drawn into the story and the characters.

This is definitely not a film for the squeamish or the faint-of-heart, but if you're a fan of the horror/B-movie genre, this should be right up your alley. It pays tribute to the classic monster movies of the mid-20th century. My main criticism of “The Wolfman” is that it was too short and left me wanting a little more. It's a thrill ride!

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