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John’s Horror Corner: The Wolfman (2010)

January 30, 2013

The Wolfman movie poster emily blunt


Hello all. Mark here.

John has been publishing horror corners centering around werewolves for the past couple of weeks and I wanted to chime in on one of my favorites. An American Werewolf in London is my favorite furry angry creature film but the new Wolfman is my second favorite. Is it really the second best werewolf film of all time? Nope. Is it atmospheric, linear and beautiful to look at? Yep. The film doesn’t get the credit it deserves for actually trying to be something more than a lame remake or teenager horror romp.

The Wolfman woods


The film went through pre-prodcution hell.  Director Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) left for creative reasons and after an extensive search Joe Johnston was hired to helm the film. The problem is that he had only three weeks to prep an $85 million dollar remake of a 1941 classic. Directors have weeks to prep and scout for one day commercials and Johnston had to break the script and stable the reigns of a runaway direwolf in 21 days. The film had a quick rewrite and started on time at England’s Pinebrook studios. The budget exploded to $150 million and it’s release was pushed back a year. So, the film was rushed to completion then sat on the shelves waiting to be released. The Wolfman had everything going against it and it still managed to be a cohesive and technically sound film which is something many films cannot accomplish. Upon release it received a 35% Rotten Tomatoes score and collected a total of $164 million from it’s theatrical and video release. It managed to break even and won an Oscar for Rick Baker’s wonderful make up.

The wolfman wolf


The Wolfman tells a linear story about four full moons and lots of death. The story starts with Benicio Del Toros (Huge Wolfman memorabilia collector) character charming an audience on the London Stage. His brother’s wife visits and tells him that his brother is missing (dead). So, he goes back to his families mansion to look for his brother, deal with the past and argue with his tough father played by a semi-overacting Anthony Hopkins.

The Wolfman Anthony Hopkins


In an attempt to rescue a child from a werewolf Benicio is attacked and considered dead. He recovers and when the next full moon rolls around he channels Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the wolf and devours many poor villagers. The scene is filled with gore and and a sense of dread not appreciated by the masses. There is nothing like a realistic looking werewolf eating helpless villagers while bearded men try futility to shoot it.

The wolfman claws


He is captured by Hugo Weavings savvy detective and quickly taken to a mental hospital where they attempt to cure him in ice cold water and straight jackets. Benicio isn’t Criss Angel so he endures the water and jackets and listens to his dad monologue about how he became a werewolf. The warden’s hubris gets in the way when he tries to convince a locked room full of scientists that there is no such thing as werewolves. That plan goes horribly awry and the wolf goes on a full rampage of destruction and games of hide and seek.

the Wolfman emily blunt hiding


I love how straightforward the film moves along. There is a natural flow and the full moons provide welcome violence to the conservative world. While on the  ride you get to enjoy scene after scene of beautiful scenery, spilled guts and gratuitous shots of Emily Blunt’s back.

The Wolfman Emily Blunt


The Wolfman looks great and deserves a second shot at monster movie redemption.It also features the greatest chair throwing moment of all time. Anthony Hopkins can officially add “Awesome chair throwing skills” to his resume of awesomeness. Watch this film. Appreciate beauty. Support films that try to make something grand.

The Wolfman movie poster

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