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The Wolfman movie poster

The Wolfman: Movie Review


Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin, Kasia Smutniak
Released by: Universal Pictures

In Short: “The Wolfman” howls again in this spine-tingling retelling of the legendary tale about a man who transforms into a savage beast when the moon turns full.

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BEWARE THE FULL MOON
“The Wolfman” Returns with a Bite

Most people know the story of “The Wolfman,” whether or not they’ve seen the classic movie starring Lon Chaney, Jr., or are familiar with the legend that has been a part of the world’s mythos since time began. Most recently, moviegoers have encountered modern werewolves in the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series, but in this direct remake of Chaney’s 1941 chiller, director Joe Johnston returns to that story of man-transformed-into-wolf that gave many of us bad dreams as children.

All the key players are in place again in this tale set in the countryside on the outskirts of London in the late 1800s. Benicio del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, an American actor who returns to his ancestral manor home in England when a tragedy strikes. He finds Sir John, his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins), and his brother’s fiancée, the beautiful Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), mourning the death of his brother, who has been mauled by a mysteriously savage beast while out strolling in the massive, murky forests that surround Sir John’s crumbling estate. Needless to say, our hero suffers a nasty bite from that evil creature soon thereafter, and mayhem ensues.

Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt in The Wolfman Benicio Del Toro in The Wolfman

There’s much to like about “The Wolfman,” starting with the creepy atmosphere and terrific acting by all involved. And although the film is too slowly paced in the first half hour or so, when Talbot finally succumbs to the full moon and begins his horrific transformation, the movie really takes off. From the top-notch special effects to the incredible makeup that transforms Del Toro (and others) into some of the scariest wolfmen we’ve seen on screen, the second half is one scary, shriek-inducing thrill ride.

One series of especially effective scenes take our hero into a London insane asylum, where he is poked and prodded in the most inhuman ways. His breakout into the streets of London is worth the price of admission alone, and the rest of the flick builds from that, to an exciting and spine-tingling finale.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters




PAR012510
Updated: (02/12/10 AR)

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