Who? Benicio Del Toro (gnarly), Anthony Hopkins (broody), Emily Blunt (English rose), Hugo Weaving (brewing)
What’s it about? After his brother’s mysterious death, apparently at the hands of a savage animal, Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) returns to his English home in the ominously named Blackmoor to investigate the strange goings on. His father (Hopkins) and widowed sister-in-law Gwen Conliffe (Blunt), in a dishevelled mansion, welcome the estranged detective Lawrence home to what must have been an eerie place for a child to grow up.
More gory murders at a gypsy campsite, mixed with tall tales from the locals warrant the attention of Scotland Yard inspector Aberline (Weaving). Accusations, more deaths and plenty of creepy fog cloud the identity of the killer and whether or not he is even human.
What’s good about it? It’s scary from the outset, with dark forest visuals that would make Tim Burton squirm. The story flows nicely and clearly with early allusions to twists in the tale, leaving you guessing like a big, gory game of Cluedo. If you like violence and lots of screaming, this is definitely for you. This, or a mental institution.
The special effects are low key, rather than using too much CGI which gives it a cool B-movie feel – in a take-it-seriously rather than laugh-at-it sort of way. Lawrence is as cool as the ice blood that flows through him - just like his father - giving them both characters of great presence that can leave you feeling almost uncomfortable being in the same room as them. The cast is small but well chosen, making you feeling alone out in the countryside – alone with the darkness and the beasts. Prepare for a lot of sudden jumps.
What’s bad about it? Despite a good story (verging on predictable), good effects (possibly too simple) and great acting (almost too cool to sympathise with), and managing to leave you feeling a little jolted from the odd shock and extreme gore; sadly that’s where the effect ends.
It’s great to see a modern werewolf film bringing the genre back; but it's resurrected it and left it largely as it was found - covered in crap. It’s no modern re-imagining like Blade or Let The Right One In were to vampires.
Verdict: A good film, well produced with great sound and guaranteed shocks. Watch on DVD alone at home in the dark for maximum effect.
When? February 12
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