Monday, January 16, 2012

Horror Movie Review: The Wolfman

The Wolfman

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Benicio Del Toro, Hugo Weaving, Emily Blunt, and Max von Sydow

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self, and Curt Siodmak

Awards: Best Make-Up 2011 Saturn Awards, Best Achievement in Make-Up 2011 Academy Awards

Release Date: January 27, 2010

Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, and Stuber Productions


 Horror became a big time movie presence when Universal Pictures started their monster movies of the 30s and 40s. The Wolfman was a latecomer to the monsters with Dracula and Frankenstein coming out nearly a decade earlier. The difference being that Frankenstein and Dracula have source material in literature and the Wolfman just has folktales. So when they talk about a remake of The Wolfman, they really could go just about anywhere with it.

But Walker and Self did a real good job of maintaining the gothic feel of the original Universal horrors. The plot bares a strong resemblance to the original, as well. Lawrence Talbot returns home, the prodigal son, after hearing of his brother Ben's death by a supposed wolf man. Lawrence doesn't believe the locals, and neither does Inspector Abberline of Scotland Yard (played wonderfully by Hugo Weaving). While investigating his brother's death, Lawrence is also attacked by a Wolfman, but unlike his brother, he escapes, although with a serious bite. Soon Lawrence is being blamed for the other wolf man's murders while he tries to protect Gwen, his brother's fiancee and his new love.

Anthony Hopkins, as is typical, is brilliant as Lawrence's estranged father Sir John Talbot. I'm not a fan of Benicio Del Toro, but he did a fair job as Lawrence. Emily Blunt, however, was not noteworthy as Gwen.

If you like gothic monster films, then you can't pass this up.

Related Trailers

The Wolf Man - In the original 1941 film, After teasing his friends for believing in werewolves, Larry (Lon Chaney Jr.) is promptly bitten by a rabid wolf and faints. Horror superstars share the screen when Larry wakes to find a gypsy (Bela Lugosi) who moonlights as a werewolf. Cursed by the werewolf's bite, Larry suffers torturous full-moon transformations and tries to escape the townsfolk who hunt him. Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers and Ralph Bellamy also grace this classic B movie.


The Rite - Anthony Hopkins also stars in The Rite. Despite his conviction that demonic possession is just so much supersitious mumbo jumbo, Catholic priest-in-training Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) journeys to Rome to attend a special exorcism school being taught at the Vatican. Before long, true-believer Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) introduces the young cleric to the devil's power firsthand. Director Mikael Håfström helms this graphic supernatural thriller inspired by a true story.

Needful Things - Max von Sydow also stars in Needful Things, a terrifying thriller based on Stephen King's best-selling novel, also starring Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, J.T. Walsh and Amanda Plummer. A mysterious new antique store opens in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. And for the curiosities he offers, the owner is always willing to make a devil of a deal.

Sleepy Hollow - Kevin Andrew Walker also assisted with the script for Sleepy Hollow. New York detective Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of mysterious deaths in which the victims are found beheaded. But the locals believe the culprit to be none other than the ghost of the legendary Headless Horseman. Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson and Michael Gambon co-star in Tim Burton's big-screen adaptation of Washington Irving's timeless tale of murder and intrigue.

The Haunting - David Self also wrote the screenplay for The Haunting. In director Jan de Bont's remake of the original spine-tingling haunted house adventure, Dr. David Marrow (Liam Neeson) invites Nell Vance (Lili Taylor) and Theo (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Luke Sanderson (Owen Wilson) to the eerie and isolated Hill House to be subjects for a sleep disorder study. The unfortunate guests discover that Marrow is far more interested in the sinister mansion itself -- and, soon, they see the true nature of its horror.

Creature with the Atom Brain - Curt Siodmak, who wrote the original Wolf Man screenplay, also wrote Creature with the Atom Brain, one of his last horror films. A mobster hires an evil ex-Nazi scientist to bring his dead henchmen back to life.