It has often been said that only three things in life are certain life, death and taxes. Now it seems that you can add remakes to that list. The latest in a long and seemingly never ending parade of remakes is The Wolfman. It has been almost 70 years since the original, so the only shock should be it has taken this long. Hollywood is in remake fever now and even movies under 20 years old are being made. Many remakes bear little in common with their forerunner, while others seem to be shot for shot copies. The Wolfman manages to fall somewhere in between.
Starring Benicio Del Torro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt, The Wolfman is set in Victorian England and follows the originals plot throughout most of the movie. To divulge too much would spoil the plot for those who haven't seen it. I do think the "twist" wasn't really needed and was visible far in advance of it's reveal. Still in a land of remakes, The Wolfman is better than most and wasn't a total failure. To those who have not seen Lon Chaney Jr's original, it is even more effective. Watched in concert with the original, its failures are more apparent. Still at the very least it paid respect to the classic and it appears the makers of The Wolfman have seen the original.
First let us discuss what was good about The Wolfman. One of the best things about The Wolfman was the scenery. The scenes of the village took me back to the glory days of Universal and Hammer horror. Towns were recreated beautifully and the fog shrouded forests and moors leant a eeriness not present in nearly enough films. It brought to mind the opening of An American Werewolf in London and more recently scenes from Dog Soldiers. Later in The Wolfman, the hirsute villain visits London. There are some absolutely gorgeous scenes of the wolfman atop buildings howling at the moon, or silhouetted against London Bridge. London feels so real you almost expect Sherlock Holmes to pop out and give chase to the beast.
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