The Wolfman (15)
Directed by Joe Johnston
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self
Screening at (12th - 25th February
This is an entertaining piece of hokum. Starring Benicio Del Toro and
Anthony Hopkins - the latter is in surprisingly good form in his role
- it is an adaptation of the The Wolfman made in 1941, which featurred
Lon Chaney Jr as the hirsute one.
With all the classic ingredients of a horror film - lots of fog, the
ever-present menace of the full moon, a blood fest (for example heads
being decapitated), dark interiors of stately mansions, and at times camp
acting - surely none of the actors taking part could take this film seriously.
Apparently there were a lot of problems in production, with the movie
taking longer to finish than expected. Maybe they had to wait for a fully
luminous moon to appear to enable everyone to do the filming. Only joking
Hopkins (in a part played in the original by Claude Rains) welcomes back
his son Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) to the family home after a long exile,
the day after his brother has been torn apart on the moors by a wild animal
or a crazed psycho. In pursuit of his killer the younger Talbot ends up
being attacked by the monster, with predictable consequences.
He then goes on the rampage, devouring endless numbers of people, despite
being pursued by a Scotland Yard detective, impressively played by Hugo
Weaving (V For Vendetta). He had further reason to catch him, having recently
failed to capture Jack The Ripper.
There are several interesting cameo performances of characters inflicting
gypsy curses on people, locals who appeared to have been born through
inbreeding in the isolated village, a godfearing vicar and a menacing
Indian servant with a giant moustache and a turban.
The love interest is served up by Gwen (Emily Blunt), the fiancee of
the murdered Talbot. There is one poignant moment near the end when the
wolfman, ready to kill her, looks at her with compassionate eyes - somewhat
similar to the way King Kong looked at his beloved damsel in distress
- and restrains himself from doing so.