Runtime: 162 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Director: James Cameron
Release Date: 11/10/09
Film star: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang
Awards: Won 3 Oscars, another 25 wins and 56 nominations
The Wolfman is a remake of the classic 1941 film of the same name and, as a sucker for horror movies, I was really excited to see it. I have to admit that the story was pretty predictable. However, for me the all-star cast and delicious goriness of the film really made it stand out.
If you aren’t familiar with the plot of The Wolfman I’ll give you a quick rundown. The film begins when Gwen Conliffe (played by Emily Blunt) sends a letter to Lawrence Talbot (played by Benicio del Toro) to tell him that his brother has gone missing. When Lawrence arrives he learns that they have discovered the mauled body of his brother, dead. Lawrence visits a band of gypsies to find out more about his brother’s death during a full moon where he is attacked by a werewolf. He is bitten, but not killed, and is turned into a werewolf himself. He must live with this curse, and through his experience he learns a number of surprising secrets about his family and his past. The film also follows the blooming relationship between Lawrence and Gwen, and it’s ultimate demise.
My main complaint about the film was its predictability. But then again, everyone knows the “rules” about werewolves-they change during the full moon, they can be killed with silver bullets-just as everyone knows the “rules” about vampires. There isn’t much that a screenwriter or director can do to get around these facts. Additionally, the film was a remake of an already released film, and it did stay true to the plot of the original.
Aside from the film’s predictability, it did manage to keep my eyes and ears on screen the entire time. The acting was superb. Benicio del Toro’s performance was fantastic, as were the performances of Anthony Hopkins (who plays Lawrence’s father) and Hugo Weaving (who plays an inspector). However, I felt the most drawn to the performance of Emily Blunt. Blunt’s acting was definitely the shining star of the film, and she really draws you in and makes you understand how it feels to be in love with a beast.
The atmosphere of the film is also enthralling. They went with a very Gothic setting, reminiscent of the original film, as well as other similar films like An American Werewolf in London. Everything from the costumes to the sets for the pub, the gypsy town, Talbot Hall and the institution where Lawrence is sent add to the atmosphere and culminate to create a very realistic Gothic world. I really liked that they decided to stay true to the original, and the film really had the same feel as the classic horror films it attempted to emulate.
Finally, when it comes to the violence and gore, The Wolfman does a great job of finding the perfect balance between gross-out horror and prude. It isn’t so gory that you find yourself having to turn away from the screen, but there is definitely some very well planned out violence. I think that is a necessary part of any horror film-especially one involving werewolves.