Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

The Wolfman - reader review

Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot in this remake of the classic 1941 horror film. When he receives news that his brother has been killed in mysterious circumstances, Talbot returns home for the first time since his mother died.

He begins to investigate the death whilst at the same time falling for his dead brother’s fiancée (Emily Blunt). With the full moon riding high and unearthly howls echoing from the moor, he is attacked by the werewolf and is bitten.

His estranged father (Anthony Hopkins) offers him shelter, although the awkwardness of their broken relationship remains. Meanwhile, Inspector Francis Aberline of Scotland Yard (Hugo Weaving) arrives in town to look into what is causing the fatal attacks, only to discover that he is going to need a fresh set of bullets to deal with the assailant.

On paper, this cast looked set to make another movie classic and all seemed well.

However, whilst I had been looking forward to this supernatural thriller, many of my friends (having seen the trailer) had no desire to watch the movie. This definitely raised questions in my mind as to whether the general public were going to enjoy The Wolfman.

Nonetheless, I came away quite impressed by what I had just seen. As a horror film, The Wolfman does succeed, although it is bound to make you jump more than have nightmares. The musical score definitely creates a large sense of foreboding which will keep you on the edge of your seat. The haunting flashbacks are well done and it is definitely worth seeing this movie on the big screen for all the jumps and scares to really be effective.

The setting of the late 1800s is perfect as it portrays the contrast between their medieval methods and the scientific discoveries being made.

Finally, it is hard to make a werewolf look scary. I wouldn’t say that the filmmakers succeeded; the transformed man looks more like Maugrim (the White Witch’s werewolf chief of police in the BBC’s old adaption of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe). However, the bestial nature of the wolfman and his violence certainly make up for this.

The bloodshed is almost comical at points, which does detract a little from the movie, but you’ll hardly notice it as you are caught up in this thrilling tale of the horror of legend come to life. Get along and see it.

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