The Wolfman Anthony Hopkins
As I sat in my movie seat willfully ignoring the four other people, I imagined I had the whole theater to myself. I was looking forward to seeing a movie that was based on my Dad's favorite monster, the Wolfman. I had no idea what to expect and then The Wolfman started and once the howling and screaming began, this movie didn't let up until the end.
I loved the gothic setting with the beautiful gloomy and dreary atmosphere of the funeral that invoke feelings of past Hammer Horror greatness. The classic movie monsters will always be my favorite films of childhood. To get this out in the open, I hate remakes and the idea that Universal was going to bring The Wolfman back to life filled me with dread. Once again, Hollywood would be taking wonderful past memories and stomping the life out of them. Not in this case and I am glad I was wrong.
The original Wolfman had fine performances from Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi. Curt Siodmak's screenplay brought the Wolfman to life. Siodmak injected a several good ideas into his screenplay such as silver bullets. Past Universal Horror movies was based on great literature as in the cases of Frankenstein and Dracula. I applaud Siodmak for tackling a film without a novel to work from.
Then came Hammer who rejected the classic movie monsters with British blood and a lot gore, which was extreme for that time.
Now Universal comes full circle and updates all the gore, violence, and suspense that made the original so much fun.
Rick Baker's makeup is just fantastic and I was glad that CGI didn't ruin the new Wolfman. The CGI that was used was fine and I didn't really realize it until I saw the bear which I forgave the filmmakers for because a real bear would have up the costs and some actor would have probably lost a much needed limp.
Danny Elfman's score is haunting and builds up suspenseful scenes almost to the point of discomfort. I love the scenes where Lawrence Talbot is sneaking around his father's house and you hear a little uneasy music and then silence. Silence in Horror movies is the worst time because it is a lot like being at the top of a rollarcoaster, its just going to stop your heart once you get over the hump. Then the silence is invaded by Elfman's intense score. Also, seeing The Wolfman in a theater with a good loud sound system helps out a lot too.
The real star of The Wolfman is Benicio Del Toro who does a great job portraying Lawrence Talbot. Equally good is Sir Anthony Hopkins as Talbot's father and the always lovely Emily Blunt as Lawrence's love interest, and Hugo Weaving as Detective Francis Aberline. Weaving is great as the detective driven to save the village from werewolves and all the resulting deaths that werewolves accomplish during a rage.
I don't think any fan who grew up on the classic movie monsters will have any problems seeing The Wolfman. This movie gives Horror films a much needed revamp with Horror is at an all time low. This is the way to take a classic movie and update it with modern tricks. Director Joe Johnston does a great job with the material.
I hope the Universal with revamp Frankentein, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Invisible Man in a similar vein.
Other Werewolves movies that have gave me countless, wonderful sleepless nights are The Wolfman (1941), Werewolf of London (1935), Curse of the Werewolf (1961), The Howling (1981), The Company of Wolves (1984), Wolfen (1981), Frankenstein meets the Wolfman (1943), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Silver Bullet (1985), and Ginger Snaps (2000). There was also an execellent short live series on TV called Werewolf that aired on Fox in the 80's. Also a nod to Marvel's Werewolf by Night. Stephen King gave us Cycle of the Werewolf (1985, see Silver Bullet for the film based on the book.) And last but not least Warren Zevon singing Werewolves of London.