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Wolfman, The (2010)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Wolfman, The (2010) Been a while since I've been even moderately interested in traveling to the theater, but something about "The Wolfman '10" oddly enticed me. I've actually noticed - not only a lot of acceptance over this remake from horror fanatics - but a pretty mutual anticipation from an abundance of people, whom I can only figure were craving a more... REAL werewolf flick. Not that teen hipster "Underworld", comic book fan-boy, CGI video-game looking crap they've been passing off lately, but a respectable Scotland Yard-ambiance, meat 'n potatoes, unencumbered by modern day atmosphere WEREWOLF flick and, from the trailers, this seemed like something of possible merit, at least to me. If not all that than at least spare any teenage werewolf romanticism... Being a big lycanthrope fan, myself, I was pretty on board with this long awaited "revamp" as most were, though I wasn't totally expecting shear brilliance or ground breaking stuff by any means - just something fashioned more in the way of the beloved 'golden age' of creature flicks. So what were my thoughts on the flick? It was about 50/50...

My hopes were a bit higher than usual, which was irresponsible on my part considering this WAS a theatrical Hollywood film I was dealing with (whom I've come to expect very little from, obviously) and I am not generally lured into 'em that much. "The Wolfman" was pretty much visual eye-candy for those with a loving appreciation for the Universal monster-movies and Hammer Productions of yesteryear, but otherwise, it lacked effort in too many places... The setting was almost top-notch with an almost colorless tone, over-use of fog and gray clouds. In that respect, it had the "Universal" horror feel I was hoping for and paid honorable tribute to the classic source material. Hell, even Benicio Del Toro looked kind of like Lon Chaney Jr.! Too bad he gives one of the most boring and one-dimensional performances I have seen in the longest time. Just about every actor in this looks like they're just going through the motions until they can collect their paycheck and move onto something more Oscar worthy. Anthony Hopkins does nothing except confound the plot with his empty character and inane side-story involving Larry Talbot's dead mother (including a "twist" you see coming before the movie even starts).

Let me back up a bit... The movie starts right off with a werewolf attack and this whole London town speculating the cause of the grisly murders. Talbot returns home after his brother is found killed and is bitten, himself, by a werewolf during a pretty cool gypsy village massacre. From there, we have several more decent scenes in which Larry's moonlight transformations evoke a savage beast that rampages through the streets, then interrupted by slow, pointless scenes that force more Anthony Hopkins on us. The whole storyline was embarrassingly thin and jumbled... Again, they had the bleak atmosphere down well and there is actually a welcoming amount of werewolf carnage and gore on tap which may not quite hold true to the 1940s method of bloodless "charm", but who among us can rightfully complain? Limb tearing, face-gouging, entrail sprawling - it's all there, yet not over-done. The effects, though relying on a little more CG than I had hoped (but deep down expected), were the real highlights and stayed true to the iconic Lon Chaney portrayed creature. Still, there's just something not all... "right" about it. He was vicious enough but not 'creepy'. Those mauling scenes DID feel more like an action movie than a horror most of the time. Give us at least a LITTLE prowling and tension with our maulings! Those scenes were fairly enjoyable, however. The climactic scene was an incredible load of wolf-fur matted dook, though. The whole father-son werewolf concept was completely unneeded from the beginning, and unfortunately dragged down a lot of the movie. In particular, the big fight in a circle of fire was just too expected and "Hollywood" to be taken seriously...

I may have torn "The Wolfman" apart more than I spotlighted it's strong points, but it isn't a BAD "remake". Hell, I'll give it props just for NOT being in fucking 3D like everything else!! The flick just wasn't done as good as it couldn't been. The characters needed much more depth and personality to carry it along and there should have been more suspense and flat out "horror" elements, but you got the gloomy visual style and the gore. Take it for what it offers since there is a lot worse out there...

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