gc8's The Wolfman review

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Worthy Remake

My review is of the *unrated* version - I do not know how that version differs from the theatrical release, so please bear that in mind.

Now to the review - I for one see this as a very worthy sequel to the original Wolfman (which is one of the best of the Universal monsters series).

It features great performances all around - and particularly by Anthony Hopkins as the elder Talbot. And while Benecio Del Toro is a curious casting choice, and certainly a far cry from Lon Chaney Jr., he's not bad either, once you see how the character has been interpreted here.

In fact the only performance that I think the original had over this one was the Gypsy cred of Maria Ouspenskaya as Maleva, played much more flatly by a miscast Geraldine Chaplin.

The story is similar to the original, but differs enough to entertain even those who've seen the 1941 version a multitude of times. Also, like the original, it is dripping in moody atmosphere. From the moors of rural Britain to the heart of Victorian London, the attention to detail here is incredible, including references to Gévaudan, 'lunatics', Jack-the-Ripper, Scotland Yard, lycanthropy, etc.

It also features some of the best werewolf transformations in recent film history.

Ultimately, though, the film makes it's stand on exploring the beast inside man issue and the acting, facade we all hold up to present ourselves as civilized rather than a step above the animal. Sir John Talbot is a big game hunter, as cruel and vicious in his own way as the animals he hunts, and Lawrence Talbot is an actor, very good at hiding the emotions he harbors inside.

This is not just your blood-and-guts werewolf film (all though it has plenty of that - especially in the deleted scenes, which hopefully one day will be added back in), it is cerebral, and akin to the classic horror films of the black and white era - but with enough modern sophistication and luridness to balance it out.

Well worth your time!

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