Director: Joe Johnston
Starring: Benicio De Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving . UK. 1h 59m
This gothic tale centres on the Talbot family and their estate in the town of blackmoor. Based in 1890s Britain. After the brutal murder of his brother, Lawrence Talbot (Benico Del Toro) returned to his family home from the theater when promoted by his brothers fiance Gwen. Nothing has changed, especially and hatred between him and his estranged father (Sir Anthony Hopkins). Lawrence finds himself along; battling his mothers apparent suicide, his fathers coldness, the new desire of his late brothers wife, suspicious locals and the pursuant police officer to try and solve his brothers murder while the beast stalks them all.
It’s impossible to talk about a werewolf movie without mentioning the transformation scenes, I’m lead to believe that the man behind the effects was the same as American Werewolf in London, Rick Baker is the modern day werewolf transformation expect. Sadly but expectantly a lot of is CGI, personally I prefer seeing a lot more casting and ripping of latex skin myself, but still the CGI extras are interesting and some of the transformations scenes in the crypt are a little comical. It really does look like Del Toro are bouncing off the walls.
The general look and feel of the movie is almost literally painted on the screen, it’s got a darkened romantic London style to it, obviously a loving look from abroad. The asylum scenes are very stereotypical, is there any other way to portray a mental hospital? I personally liked the scene while The wolfman was stalking Gwen through the woods and it seems to take on a paper theater feel about it, and the beast keeps popping out to strike someone then bounces off through the woods again.
I think I’m alone in liking the movie, everyone else in the cinema seemed highly disappointed. Being a goth I think I was sold on the look and feel of the overall movie but I do appreciate that it did seem a bit weird to see a hulking South American running around the English countryside.
The movies boasts a lot of great performances, sadly the main actors had to carry Emily Blunts numb faced attempt at acting, but it was a delight to see Anthony Sher, who I have adored since Eric the Viking (1989), Hugo Weaving was prized as Inspector Aberline, hot off the case of Jack the Ripper no doubt and Sir Anthony Hopkins playing the every distant older male that we’re familiar with from films like Fracture (2007 ). The Cameo from Max Von Sydow was rather interesting, it could have been totally cut from the movie but I feel it was added only to try and capture some of the similarities of the original movie where the main protagonist brought the silver wolf head cane at Gwen’s (Emily Blunt) antique shop.
The movie has it flaws, I was surprised at how many lines were instantly repeated, and being a remake/reload (whatever) it was predictable, but again that was some of the charm. I really appreciated the ending, too many times Hollywood tries to send us to be with a goodnight kiss telling us everything will be alright, What I really liked and here is the spoiler, Aberline gets bitten and survives, so where is part two? No doubt I’ll write up a few predictions or there might be some fan fiction somewhere.
Related : The Wolfman (1941), Bram Stokers Dracula (1992 ) , Wuthering Heights ( 1939) Sweeny Todd (2007) La Belle et la Bete (1946) The Invisible Man (2020)
Spotlight : Anthony Hopkins, Benecio Del Toro, Hugo Weaving, Max Von Sydow
List : A-Z Of Werewolves and Lycan Movies Vol 1
Article: The AOFA Short Introduction and History of Werewolves in Cinema, A Pint of Bitter, My Favorite Scene dissected.
Rating : 7/10