THE WOLFMAN remake...go see it!

Horrornews is a discussion forum for true horror fans to discuss the more obscure areas of the horror/cult/exploitation film genre as well as current theatrical horror.

Moderator: Chris Slack

Post Reply
User avatar
Darth Tanner
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 10:00 pm
Location: Midlothian, VA U.S.A

THE WOLFMAN remake...go see it!

Post by Darth Tanner » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:00 pm

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned THE WOLFMAN remake yet...and I was expecting Remo to chime in with it:). I caught this at a matinee over the weekend and really enjoyed it. Most people on here probably know I grew up on the classic Universal monsters and am still a fan (owning all of them on DVD). Although there have been countless werewolf movies since the original came out, this is the first time to my knowledge that a direct remake has been made of the original WOLF MAN (even if this new film spells it as "WOLFMAN").

I'll start by saying that even though this new remake is based on Curt Siodmak's original script, it is nothing like the original film. The main characters and basic story are still there but with some twists to make it more interesting to modern audiences. But the changes actually work pretty well without disrespecting the original. This film also includes some very juicy splatter effects as well....so parents should be forewarned. This movie isn't as family-friendly as Stephen Sommer's remake of THE MUMMY.


The cast is pretty good for the most part. Even though it would be hard to fill Lon Chaney Jr's shoes, Benecio Del Toro does a good job and puts his own spin on the tortured Larry Talbot. Anthony Hopkins also does an okay job despite the fact that some traces of Hannibal Lecter seemed to seep into his portrayal of Sir John. Emily Blunt does a good job as Gwen and does more with the character than Evelyn Ankers did (as much as I hate to admit it). The one bright spot in the cast however is Hugo Weaving as the hard-nosed Scotland Yard inspector who has his own suspicion's about Talbot.

Another great aspect of the film is the terrific makeup effects by Rick Baker (which are pretty similar to Jack Pierce's make in the original). After being exposed to the crappy CGI werewolves in movies like CURSED and UNDERWORLD, it is nice to see a return to practical makeup. But Baker was a huge fan of the original so I had no doubt that he would do it justice.

All in all a rather enjoyable time for what was my first theatrical viewing so far this year. Definitely worth checking out even if you're mildly curious. If you see it let me know what you think.

I guess now the only classic Universal monster that has yet to be remade is CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Hopefully it will stay that way since they have been trying without any luck to get that remade since the early 80's:)
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the heavens. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and so... I am a God." - Malcolm McDowell, CALIGULA
------------------

[url=http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mycollection.asp?alias=ctanner5]My DVD collection[/url]


User avatar
Chris Slack
Posts: 5498
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 1999 12:00 pm
Location: Everett WA USA
Contact:

Post by Chris Slack » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:34 pm

Thanks Chick. I was waiting to hear from someone who was a fan of the original to say something positive before going. I'll probably hit it up this Friday.
"Regrettable... I was hoping for a colleague, but at least we have
another experimental subject..." -Mesa of Lost Women

User avatar
Darth Tanner
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 10:00 pm
Location: Midlothian, VA U.S.A

Post by Darth Tanner » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:37 pm

Chris Slack wrote:Thanks Chick. I was waiting to hear from someone who was a fan of the original to say something positive before going. I'll probably hit it up this Friday.
Umm...who is Chick? :)

Just kidding. Yes by all means go see it Chris. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I had a good time. Let me know what you think afterwards.
"I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the heavens. Although I have taken the form of Gaius Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and so... I am a God." - Malcolm McDowell, CALIGULA
------------------

[url=http://www.dvdprofiler.com/mycollection.asp?alias=ctanner5]My DVD collection[/url]

User avatar
Remo D
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 10:00 pm
Location: Marina, CA U.S.A.
Contact:

Post by Remo D » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:41 pm

No two ways about it--I was looking forward to this film more than any other horror film in recent memory. Universal Horror (AS SUCH) was coming back to the big screen. And sure, it would be updated in respect to special effects and modern thrills... but it wasn't going to be RAIDERS OF THE LOST MUMMY, and it wasn't going to be a VAN HELSING affair that tried to do every single Universal Horror film at once, either. No, sir. This was THE WOLFMAN, plain and simple. And that was the one I wanted to take my family to see.

But what was this? An "R" rating? Strictly for gory horror violence? I have to admit that the aforementioned Sommers factory epics had caused me to take a PG-13 for granted... so what was I to do with my ten-year-old son? Would I tell him "Sorry, but you can't see it after all?" Or would I do what my own father did when I begged him to take me to see John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN way back in 1979 (even though he knew quite well it would probably be a bit strong for me)?

Well, in my official capacity of "parent and/or guardian," today I officially welcomed Cameron to the big time!

Okay, back to THE WOLFMAN. Unquestionably, this is a remake by people who loved and respected the original film. Of course there were changes--some in the name of convenience (Lawrence Talbot's late brother was ALSO the fiancee of Gwen Conliffe, so there's less need for introductions and no Patrick Knowles counterpart to worry about; Hugo Weaving's inspector gets a lot more to do than Ralph Bellamy did in the original), and some in the hopes of throwing fans of the original off-track a bit (and I have no particular complaints in that department, either).

I've heard everything from "excellent" to "terrible" said about this film but refused to listen to any of it--nobody and nothing was going to spoil my sense of anticipation. But now that I've seen it?

I can't go any further without acknowledging that the movie has a flaw. A huge, significant flaw... dead center. Benicio del Toro looks the part, and as one of the producers, he was obviously keen on playing the part. But either he was otherwise WRONG for the part--or he chose an unfortunate approach to it. And it couldn't be simpler. Go back and watch the performance of Lon Chaney, Jr. in the original. Lawrence Talbot, pre-bite, is extremely LIKABLE. He's a NICE GUY--a very pleasant fellow who's effortlessly easy to side with. We enjoy spending time with him as he romances Evelyn Ankers, we feel his pain as the way he walks becomes thorny, through no fault of his own... I could go on but I doubt I need to. Talbot, as played by del Toro, is an arrogant, standoffish American actor who would rather be anywhere but home--and while you wouldn't wish his plight on anybody, the sympathy factor just isn't working in his favor. There's one--exactly ONE scene in which he tries to spend a little pleasant time with Gwen (Emily Blunt), but even when he's showing her how to skip stones, he himself doesn't seem to relax at all, and it's hardly the charming interlude the film needs before the horrors truly kick in.

All right--there's the central flaw. But is it enough to knock the movie out of contention? I say... absolutely not. You get wonderful Gothic atmosphere from stem to stern. You get fantastic action/horror sequences (the attack on the Gypsy caravan, Larry's first transformation and rampage); you get fantastic, heartfelt werewolf design (yes, you get the benefit of Rick Baker's AMERICAN WEREWOLF stylings but still wind up with a truly splendid upright werewolf combining the very best of Chaney, Oliver Reed and Paul Naschy); you get some fine black humor (when the doctor says "...any more than I'm going to sprout wings and fly out that window," you just KNOW where he's headed by the end of the scene, and that's not a complaint by a long shot); you get a wonderful supporting cast (you didn't think Anthony Hopkins was going to play it safe and be the voice of reason a la Claude Rains, did you?) and you get a film that moves relentlessly and never lets the energy flag during a running time of just over two hours.

And in case you were wondering? Not everything used in the original film can serve the same function in the remake, so some of it's just there for token value, but it's no less appreciated for that... you get Maleva the Gypsy, you get the telescope, you get the silver-headed cane, and you get pretty much everything a fan of THE WOLF MAN could reasonably expect to be reflected.

Except for Chaney's likable Larry. I can't let that go. But from a combination of what I WANTED from the film, what the film PROMISED and what the film DELIVERED, I still liked THE WOLFMAN better than AVATAR. So there.

And Cameron? He was just fine with it. I just might have raised him well!!!
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!

User avatar
Evil Red
Posts: 5852
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Way the fuck up I-5, B'ham
Contact:

Post by Evil Red » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:34 am

I liked it! Of course I love anything with Bencio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins (although I thought he slept through the part, being so close to Van Helsing etc.) and to boot, the highlight of my horrible Valentine's day was the bewildering fact that I actually got carded to see this movie! :eek: :D
I made the Devil do it.


User avatar
mickey brown-eye
Posts: 1066
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:34 pm
Location: with your mamma

Post by mickey brown-eye » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:39 am

Weird.
I saw this movie 2 weeks ago and I already have forgotten half of it, same with my wife. We were trying to remember the ending but it was just so forgettable. The first half of the movie to me felt like it was edited by a retard just a bunch of random scenes thrown together that sort of fit with each other. It didn't flow. Benicio Del Toro whom I was looking forward to seeing wasn't very good, though I liked Hugo Weaving and Anthony Hopkins quite a bit. The transformation in the Psych ward was pretty cool. I liked the look of the wolf man, I am very picky about werewolf designs and I am glad it wasn't some cartoony bad CGI garbage like the cartoon bear and elk also appearing in this movie.
If I watch this one again it will have Rifftrax commentary over it :D
:headshot: [font=Comic Sans MS][size=167][color=YellowGreen][b]chunks[/b][/color][/size][/font]
[url=http://www.myspace.com/httpwwwmyspacecommickeybrowneye]Mickey Brown-eye Myspace[/url]
[url=http://www.myspace.com/umbilicalparricide]Umbilical Parricide Myspace[/url]


Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest