Monday, July 19, 2010

#27 - Wolfman - 2010

Wolfman was my 6th movie choice this week and I was very interested to see this movie. I remember back in October of 2007 seeing a trailer of this film while on the Universal Studios Backlot Tram during Halloween Horror Nights. They were promoting this film that long ago and I guess they originally planned for an early 2008 release however it got delayed until early 2010. I think a lot of people forgot about it but not me. Below is my detailed review.

This film stars some Hollywood A listers for sure. There is Sir Anthony Hopkins as Sir John Talbot, Benicio Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, and Emily Blunt as Gwen Conliffe. That is pretty much the three main characters in this film but the other actors and actresses were great as well. The plot of this film is basically the same as the original 1941 film as this is simply a remake modernized version with a tad more gore, scratch that, a lot more gore.

I must say right off the bat I was pleasantly surprised with this film. I was expecting it to be good and I was excited to see it but it actually was much better than I even imagined it would be. There were a lot of reviews and talk about this film that were quite negative and naturally one would think this could have been one of the contributing factors for it having been delayed on several different occasions however I didn't see anything negative about this film at all. I actually thought it was excellent!

I loved the theme of this film and how it was set in older time. Not knowing the exact time frame or at least not remembering what it reminded me of was Sherlock Holmes and Sleepy Hollow. I immediately though that after some of the first couple of scenes in the film. I'm becoming more and more a fan of these movies that take place in this time in history. Sweeny Todd was another one. The setting and background for a film like this is almost everything because had this movie been made in a different time frame with different citizens, buildings, and backgrounds it simply would not be the same. In accordance with the remake though it was a necessity to due this film in this time period. More so than most movies this one depended on it and because of it this was a successful film in my mind.

Del Toro (Lawrence Talbot) comes home to his fathers estate to help search for his brother after his brothers fiancée requests him to do so. His father upon welcoming him back notifies him ever so casually that his brother has died and his body was found. After viewing his brothers body Lawrence is quite sure that something out there lurks that is not quite human. The film flows wonderfully and intertwines story with action sequences of the wolfman at the beginning and it makes it difficult for the viewer to become disinterested which is important to me at least especially in movies that take place in this time in history.

There are two things I especially loved about this film. They are the graphic nature of the kill scenes and the settings and backgrounds in which this film takes place. I also loved the story and the twist at the end, at least it was a twist for me not recalling the original very well. This film definitely reminded me of old time classic Universal horror flicks and no it wasn't just the vintage Universal Pictures symbol at the beginning of the film but just the overall vibe of the film and the story and how it was told. It was very picturesque and creepy and I loved it!

Now onto my favorite scenes, the kill scenes. I have to admit I felt they would be a tab bit milder just due to the fact that it was a Universal remake of an original and I didn't think from the previews it was going to be as gory and intense as it was. I was pleasantly surprised! It was nice to see the scenes evolve and get more intense and blood filled as the film moved along. Some of the kills in the gypsy village were cool but my favorites were when the Wolfman went after the town law enforcement officials after they had set a trap to try and catch him. I especially loved the scene where the officer who was running away through the woods got caught in what appeared to be quick sand but I believe was simply just a small watering hold and after shooting at the Wolfman and unsuccessfully deterring him he then attempted to kill himself but had no bullets left. Next scene we see was the Wolfman swiping and beheading the guy. Later scenes would show him ripping people apart and literally taking a bite of flesh out of a guys chestal cavity and most the scenes had a limb being ripped off here or there at some point. What I liked about these scenes were they were so fierce and really showed the sheer strength of this monster and what he was capable of. Universal did a spectacular job on the makeup of the Wolfman himself as he was very intense and scary looking.

The backgrounds of this film and its eerie setting with fog filled streets and forests made it a perfect recipe for a horror film. I cant imagine more atmosphere's to be scarier than a fog filled forest when you have a movie involving a monster like the Wolfman. This is one remake that hit on all cylinders and was fantastic! The visuals made this film for me and there were many more than I expected and it was a real winner in my book. If Universal was to remake any other classics from here on out I would definitely suggest they take there starting points from this movie and make it similar in style, setting, and graphic nature. What they accomplished was making a film that was in a sense a remake but for a younger more blood thirsty desensitized horror fan audience and by keeping the gore factor at a maximum but keeping the settings, score, and storyline more like the original it really was remarkable what they pulled off. Overall I would give this film a firm A!

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