By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
Werewolves are not the creatures that interest me most in the monster lore, so I’ll try to judge objectively for wolf fans. American Werewolf in London actually got me into it. I even thought Cursed was fun, and of course the high concept of Wolf. Admittedly, I don’t remember the original Wolfman and we don’t need to address Silver Bullet and the like.
Review: The Wolfman
The Wolfman of 2010 gets bloody right away. Indeed the emphasis is on pure blood and gore, as it should be. The film has fun with kills that are all way more graphic than they need to be, but good. That’s the joy of a horror movie and that’s the reason to do a remake so go all out.
The jump scares work even on me. Hard slamming attacks are surprising and there are definitely werewolf kills we’ve never seen before, thanks to new technology. The settings for wolf outs are fun too, particularly giving the psychiatric community what for.
The film rightly focuses on action because you’ll really feel nothing for the characters. Good guys or bad guys, they’re just foils to set up the wolfy parts. The actors play it, but it’s tragic hero by rote.
The story is pretty generic. At best it could be described as Victorian era CSI as they try to find a natural explanation for the body of Lawrence Talbot’s brother. The Talbot family drama is pretty standard too, but the movie gets right to the wolf attack.
The CGI is pointless especially because it doesn’t even look good. So they digitally make hands and feet stretch out so that it looks almost as real as when they did it for real in 1981. The four legged running doesn’t look that good either.
To prove how effective practical is, the actual Wolf Man makeup looks great and you can see the actor through it. His movement as a biped is fantastic. Then they blend it to a silly animated running blur because that’s how we roll in modern day visual effects.
It feels like a movie that was saved by reshoots and delays. They probably tried to do something too bold in the original version but they filled it with gore so they’d at least have that. It’s a better alternative than a talky period piece that doesn’t work. That’s just a theory though. Maybe it was supposed to be an A-list B movie all along.