Friday, July 09, 2010

The Wolfman

Is there any way to scare anyone in the movies any more? I mean, of that select group of people who still go to scary movies.

I don't go to slasher movies. But I am a great fan of the original Universal movies: Frankenstein. The Mummy. The Wolfman. The holy trinity of horror.

There are some very good scenes in the new movie showing the latest Lawrence Talbot, Benicia del Toro, who certainly has the haunted look just walking in the door. I frankly don't know anyone who could top the original, Lon Chaney Jr (whose father played the original Phantom of the Opera), but we try not to hold it against del Toro.

Thankfully, the newest incarnation doesn't spend a lot of time in build-up. Talbot's brother is killed mysteriously, and he comes back to his father's mansion after many years away as an actor in America. There he meets Ben's fiance, played by Emily Blunt.

There are many different takes on the tale in this one, including a different view of the gypsies. They're mysterious, they're powerful, but they're not portrayed as bad. Instead, the religious are pictured as the villains here. Except, of course, that they're right...

Of course, we know what happens when Larry Talbot is bit by the large and powerful beast who's roaming the countryside during the full moon. The same transformation has happened time and time cinematically, including the excellent Rick Baker effects in American Werewolf in London. Rick Baker, makeup specialist, is again part of this art team. So, the real question, besides the obvious one of scary moments, is: will the transformation be worth watching? And the entire movie needs to build up to this moment, as townspeople set their traps and the lone Scotland Yard inspector sets his own. We wait for the next full moon, wait for the howl.... and wonder.

I can tell you this: the whole effect lives up to Baker's legacy. This movie is worth seeing for those who wonder, and for those who don't mind, actually revel, in limbs being torn from the body.

From one who loves a good makeup and special effect, and a decent try at an old gem: Thumb's up.


At 1:42 PM, Blogger Sheryl said...

I'm not going to run to theaters to see this - but perhaps put it on my Netflix list. But I am looking forward to my favorite small screen werewolf to reappear - do you watch "Being Human"? BBC America?


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