Director: Joe Johnston Release date: 12th February Review by Paul Metcalf The Wolfman was one of the most loved of the Universal monster movies, surely there was no need for a remake? When it comes to Hollywood and their desire to remake any movie that ever made money you’ll already know the answer to that one but the real question should be is remake any good? As the movie begins it’s obvious to see that the story being told already differs from the original. In fact the only part they actually include is that Lawrence Talbot returns to his family home and is attacked by a wolf like creature that passes on the werewolf curse to him. On to this basic plot the remake adds the death of Lawrence’s brother as the reason for his return home. His relationship with his father is tense and this is the first time he has returned home since childhood. It is through his investigations into the events surrounding his brother’s demise that he is attacked by the wolf and led down the long and thorny road of being a werewolf. The film has an unmistakeable Gothic look to it. At times it’s more of a Gothic ghost story than a monster movie and although that sounds like it would confuse matters I’d argue it only adds to its charm. The transformation from man to wolf is adequate at best; even though Rick Baker worked on this special effects he does not try to top his work in An American Werewolf in London he just gives us what is to be expected. It is a shame that it’s done in CGI but in terms of the story progression we don’t need an amazing transformation, and at least we get better than An American Werewolf in Paris 2. The acting however is quite odd. It’s hard to really say there is much character development because everything goes so fast. The movie seems to have been edited to a pace that could only be referred to as warp speed 9. Characters rush in and out of scenes saying their lines as quickly as possible so you’re left not really caring about them at all. For a movie which is meant to have a balance of tragedy and romance this is a major failing. We need to feel for them before truly understanding what they are going through and there just isn’t the chance to do that. Anthony Hopkins is surprisingly poor. Perhaps he was trying to ham his portrayal up a bit and have fun with the character but it falls a bit flat in the end. The same can be said of Emily Blunt barely registers at all. Benicio Del Toro’s performance is a high point, and the only way for it to be described is intense. He’s so intense that even the werewolf itself seems to be calmer than him. His character is interesting, relatable but the pacing of the film means we feel little pity for him. Talbot is hiding so many inner demons that when he finally gets the release of the transformation it must be quite a relief. Maybe lycanthropy is the new anti-depression drug? This movie is one remake where I’m not going to compare it to the original because the storyline is so far abstracted from it that it’s a movie in its own right, and should have been given a different name. If the pace was not so rushed and we were given time to find out about the characters it would have also been a better movie. Other than that I found it to be a good movie with nice amounts of gore for people who like that kind of thing. It’s nice to see a movie being released that knows it’s a horror movie and tries its best to show that on the screen. Rating: 7/10