Sunday, June 13, 2010

Even those who are pure of heart, and say their prayers at night, can become a wolf, when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

Benicio Del Toro went to Universal with an idea, he wanted to do a remake of the 1941 Universal film "The Wolfman". What followed was a collaboration between he and makeup wizard Rick Baker to do homage to the original and I suspect a bit of a nod to the Hammer Horror Films of the '60's and '70's. Though at its release critics panned the film I found the movie surpassed my meager expectations and hence it now resides in my bluray collection.

I will be the first to admit the movie may not be to everyone's liking, especially the younger crowd that never experienced the original. This is a Victorian Gothic piece that is heavy on atmosphere and though it abounds with its share of gore and dismemberment, it is a homage movie to the classic horror and its roots. Even the creature design emulates Jack Pierce's original make up and this is where Rick Baker excels crafting practical effects melded with CGI to create eerie transformations. Del Toro combined with Baker's make up delivers us the classic tormented yet vicious werewolf that the original film built the foundation for.

Is it a great film? No, it does lack in plot at times but makes up for it with art direction. Is it a fun film for horror fans of old? Yes, a very strong yes.


  1. agree--it wasn't a great movie but it was indeed fun! I enjoyed the gloomy, gothic atmosphere a lot. I didn't realize that del Toro was behind the making of it--he was, unfortunately, the only actor in the movie that I had trouble with. I just couldn't get used to him in the role of Lawrence...his acting seemed wooden and lacking in emotion...I felt the "wolfman" should have been more passionate and anguished about his fate. still a visual feast!

  2. I agree, I did feel Del Toro was a bit subdued with his performance, perhaps he was going for subtlety but when the was in full make up he was a very convincing werewolf. I admit I did cringe when he was giving his Yorik speech on stage portraying Hamlet. Hopkins though was fun to watch with his steely glint and devilish grin.