A Howling Tale of Horror

It seems like Hollywood has decided to take a break from their obsession with vampires in order to focus on other mythological creatures.

The Wolfman, a remake of the 1941 film of the same name, takes place in 1891 in Blackmoor, England. Lawrence Talbot (played by Benicio Del Toro) returns to his family’s estate when his brother, Ben (played by Simon Mercell) is mysteriously murdered. Instead Lawrence discovers that a werewolf has been feeding on people as if they were turkeys on Thanksgiving Day.

The Wolfman is directed by Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III), who focuses more on the action and suspense rather than the physical and emotional torment Talbot sometimes experiences. The directing is good, but the plot gets dull at times and even with all the fog in the movie, the ending is predictable.

In a plot filled with darkness and insanity, audiences may feel somewhat haunted by the flashbacks of dead characters and werewolf encounters.

However, the cast does little to instill fear. Del Toro does a good job at portraying the sad and hopeless Lawrence, who loses his sanity after watching his mother die at a young age. Emily Blunt is a talented actress, but does not get a chance to shine until the end. Hopkins is mysterious, but very dull and forgettable.

However, Hugo Weaving redeems the cast by playing the smart and entertaining Francis Aberline, the detective investigating the werewolf murder, whose character is loosely based on Frederick Aberline (the real life inspector on the Jack the Ripper case).

Despite a less than stellar cast, The Wolfman has impressive special effects in it, but can pose a problem for those who get squirmish at the sight of blood and gore. The actual werewolf looks very realistic as much as the individuals who get their limbs and heads chopped off by him. The movie is filled with mainly action sequences where the werewolf is attacking people and Johnston overdoes the gruesome violence. The suspense in the movie is also weak and unoriginal.

Overall, the movie has potential, offering audiences a different kind of monstrosity and savageness in an age where vampire films dominate the big screen. The Wolfman deserves a viewing at home as a rental, but is not worth the trip to the theater.