Film Review – The Wolfman

I had very high expectations for the remake of The Wolfman. So far, I cannot recall Benicio Del Toro starring in a bad film, and paired with the beautiful Emily Blunt it looked set to be a winner.

Set in Victorian Britain, Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot, a nobleman who has spent his adult life living in America and acting in highly respected theatres. He returns home to the family estate at Blackmoor after receiving a letter from his brother’s fiance, Gwen Conliffe. Both play their lead roles very well, and the awkward silences between them portray the balance of grief and lust as they both come to terms with the death of Lawrence’s brother, Ben. Another fantastic performance is delivered by Anthony Hopkins who plays Del Toro’s father – an integral character to the story.

Throughout the film, there is a very dark and threatening atmosphere. Britain is (realistically) shown to be constantly overcast, so the sky only varies from grey to black; the cinematography gives beautiful shots across the woods and the moors, adding to the eerie feeling that remains for the duration. The Wolfman is not frightening in the same way that a psychological thriller might play on your mind, but has some very jumpy and gory scenes, determined within the first 5 minutes. Only take your London escort to see it if you’re prepared to cover her eyes for the worst scenes!

The story centres around the legend of lycanthropy; Lawrence is determined to find out what monstrous beast has been terrorising the village and killed his brother, and the curse follows the traditional story of the full moon turning a man into a savage wolf. Rather than using computer graphics, Del Toro spent hours in make up to create a prosthetic wolf costume; although it is refreshing to see something ‘real’ on our screens in this day and age, there are many similarities between The Wolfman and Chewbacca from Star Wars… unfortunately this prevented me from taking some scenes seriously when they were intended to be terrifying.

The Wolfman is predictable in some parts but has a good twist, which becomes apparent about half way through. I had expected the running time to be longer, but at 125 minutes it doesn’t seem to drag at all.

I would advise against popcorn, because even the hardest of men are likely to jump in their seats, so you may well end up with your snack all over your lap. If you’re concerned about looking macho, watch it by yourself first so you know when the jumpy bits are coming, then take your London escort along and she’ll think you’re just made of tough stuff!