Monday, February 15, 2010

The Wolfman

Ever since Bram Stoker's Dracula, I've had a bit of a penchant for Gothic horror. Actually, it probably goes back further than that to the days of watching 'Hammer House of Horror' on a Friday night with my sisters in awe of Peter Cushing hamming it up for all he was worth. I love the campness, fog and humour of them. The Wolfman was just one of these movies. Now I know it's been pretty much panned by the critics, but honestly, what did they expect? It was fairly obvious from the shorts what sort of a film it was going to be, and it didn't disappoint. The story is of Laurence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro), a British actor who has lived in the United States (thus neatly explaining his accent) called back to his home in England to help find his brother. There he meets his brother's fiancee (Emily Blunt) and reunites with his eccentric father (Sir Anthony Hopkins). There unfolds a dark tale of werewolves, betrayal and curses. It is filled with gypsies, intestines, love and dark humour, all the while with silver bullets flying. There is a supporting cast which reads like a who's who of English character actors, and Detective Abberline (a real life character who investigated the Jack the Ripper murders) is given not enough airtime and played by the eminently watchable Australian actor Hugo Weaving. Art Malik and Geraldine Chaplin round off this delightful cast as the long sufferring Sikh servant and the all knowing gypsy (I'll leave you to guess who plays who). Benicio Del Toro reminds me of Brad Pitt's Puerto Rican younger brother (if he had one), he is disconcertingly magnetic and always looks like he's seen a whole lot of life. He seems to be more comfortable playing the wolfman than Laurence. Emily Blunt is sympathetic and sufficiently mourning (although not for long once Benicio arrives) and Sir Anthony is aptly eccentric with his dysrhythmic speech pattern and accent from who knows where. I enjoyed this film for what it was. The effects were great, and the wolfmen were true to the old style movies version, and all the better for it. THE WOLFMAN: Pure silver. 6/10

1 comment:

  1. Ha, I LOVE this review..filled with gypsies & intestines....who could resist?? I remember the Hammer horrors really well - in fact, very near our family home is the house they used in the titles! Really spooky. I will probably see this when it's out here. I was supposed to see Bright Star tonight but have been thwarted by family things. I'll buy the DVD as soon as it's out instead. Thanks for the great writing Ce, have a lovely day xox