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Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012)

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Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012) - 15/10/2012 4:44:13 PM   

Posts: 654
Joined: 3/4/2012
Judging by the cover of this film thoughts of 'Van Helsing' and 'Underworld' spring instantly to mind...and your not far wrong with that.

This is pretty much a copy and mix of both of those films chock full of lovely cliched characters and everything you've ever seen before in a werewolf movie.

Bunch of crazy hardass werewolf hunters come to a small village to purge them of the wolf horror. A young man from the village volunteers to help them do so but there are twists to come, many predictable twists that aren't too well hidden.

The film looks quite good with that typical bleak dark murky 19th century forest set Eastern European village look. The characters are basically rips from many other films and include your obligatory 'Hudson' type, the cool calm Clint Eastwood leader, the sexy ninja like female and a well spoken smartly dressed guy who throws lots of little knives. A kind of quirky 'League of Extraordinary Gentleman' type looking gang. The dialog is all the right kind of hero spouting fluff you have heard before, tight little one liners throughout the action just to emphasize these guys are cool and tough etc..

The reason I watched the film (apart from being a werewolf fan) was down to the reasonable looking effects. It swings from good to bad really, some shots of the werewolf's claws, eyes or silhouettes against the darkness are pretty neat and work well. Transformation sequence is fully CGI and a bit hokey but I've seen worse, whilst in full CGI motion the creature doesn't look that bad. Put it this way its no worse than the first 'Underworld' flick which had a much bigger budget.

Unknown cast accept for previous vampire player Stephen Rea, none of which are much to shout about although Guy Wilson who plays the young man from the village looks perfect for his character. Honestly for a straight to DVD film this isn't too bad and offers some nice visuals and claret soaked action, just don't expect anything original a tall.
Post #: 1
RE: Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012) - 15/10/2012 4:59:18 PM   


Posts: 4231
Joined: 5/2/2012
I cannot be the only one who thought (for a split second) that Christian Bale looked to be like one of the leading Actors in this B-Movie Horror show.
Trailer Clicky!

(in reply to Phubbs)
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RE: Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012) - 15/10/2012 8:46:06 PM   
Dr Lenera


Posts: 4084
Joined: 19/10/2005

Just on the outskirts of a town in Middle Europe, a family is attacked and killed by a werewolf with only the young daughter escaping with her life, though the monster is set alight by flames and returns to his human form before dying. 25 years later, the town is being terrorised by a similar beast. Young Daniel and Eva are in love, but have to meet in secret because she is rich and he is poor. A team of skilled werewolf hunters arrives and makes plans to trap and kill the monster, and Daniel decides to join themÖ..

I suppose I should say right at the beginning of this review that I loved the 2010 version of The Wolfman, which probably puts me in the minority. To me it was a loving tribute to and remake of the 1941 Lon Chaney classic, had pleasing echoes of other werewolf pictures like Werewolf Of London, added some great gore, had some of the best lycanthrope rampages ever and looked absolutely fabulous. Only some ropey performances and CGI effects let it down. Despite all this, the film met with a bad reception from critics [who always seem ready to pounce on a film that has had production difficulties] and audiences stayed away. It therefore seems surprising that Universal have made a second werewolf film, albeit one that has gone straight to home viewing. I tend not to read other reviews before writing one of my own but I did quickly skim a few before reviewing Werewolf-The Beast Among Us. The response seems to be mostly mediocre, proof that either people just expect too much from some films or are going to give something a bad review before they have even seen it. The film attempts to be nothing more than a fun werewolf flick, and on that level succeeds quite adequately.

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed Werewolf-The Beast Among Us, but then again, Iím partial to werewolf pictures, even bad ones like The Howling sequels, though I think I can certainly recognise a poor one when it comes along. This particular is certainly very flawed but should keep undemanding monster fans happy for an hour and a half. Now, despite Universalís rumblings after the poor performance of The Wolfman that a spinoff or remake [no sorry, the word now is reboot isnít it?!] was in the works, Werewolf-The Beast Among Us has nothing to do with the Benicio Del Toro movie, but is a totally separate story, albeit one that could very well be another adventure for the Hugh Jackman incarnation of Van Helsing. It even has a character who seems to be deliberately similar to him in looks and manner, though he doesnít actually have a name. In fact, quite a few people in this film donít have names, though some do. Laziness? Maybe, itís hard to tell. I suppose it doesnít matter too much, though there are certainly other problems with the script.

Still, after a nicely intense opening, Werewolf-The Beast Among Us, for its first two thirds at least, should be quite pleasing if youíre a fan of old-time horror. Thereís a distinct Hammer feel here, with the town especially just like one you would expect to see Draculaís castle looming above on a hill in the distance. The pacing is nice and relaxed, with time being given to establishing locale and character, though maybe a little too much time is spent on matters of the romantic sort, matters which donít all really go anywhere [little is done with a love triangle, for instance]. Thereís a reasonable amount of suspense building and the werewolf is only barely seen, though when his scenes commence, the rampage sequences have little of the atmosphere and tension of those in The Wolfman. Thereís plenty of gore though, and not just from the werewolf either, with at least two exploding heads [hurrah!] and a nicely gruesome bit of business involving entrail removal, though the person having his guts removed is dead and overall I think a Ď15í rating would have been adequate for this film, considering what some Ď15ís contain these days. The picture is not sadistic and generally the gore adds to the fun though some may say it jars with the old-fashioned feel.

There seems to be two main types of werewolf movies. One kind, the most popular type, has the werewolf as the main protagonist, a person who is usually sympathetic. The other kind treats the premise of lycanthropy as a mystery. Who is it who is turning into a monster at night? This film tries to have its cake and eat it, as for the first two thirds itís a mystery, than it reveals who the werewolf is and changes somewhat. Itís an interesting structure, but sadly the film then tries to pack in too much and gets sillier and sillier, with a revelation about one certain character which I just laughed at. This wouldnít matter so much if the film was done in a tongue-in-cheek way, but itís not and the crazy twists and turns the plot takes seem out of place in a Ďseriousí film. There are some good ideas, but it all seems very rushed, as if they had to cut the script down to fit a certain running time. The film remains enjoyable though and I respect any movie that has the gall to kill off characters you donít expect to die and also has some plot surprises in store.

Of course you end up seeing more and more of the werewolf and itís the usual unconvincing CGI effort that is very similar too, and is not much of an improvement on, those things in An American Werewolf In Paris, though the facial design is rather striking. Sadly the film falls down on its transformation scenes too, which are so weak itís a wonder they bothered. Actually, hereís a better idea; why not, if you donít have the budget or ability for good CGI, do such stuff the old-fashioned way with dissolves? Watching a lot of the black and white Universal horrors recently, it confirmed my long-held beliefs that the older methods still often hold up, and that the obsession with doing everything on the computer is stifling creativity in special effects today. It was nice to see some model blood and guts mixed with the CGI carnage though, and overall the film looks and sounds fairly good. Director Louis Morneau has a nice knack of using tight editing without going over the top, and Michael Wandmacherís score certainly makes the most of just being obviously done on a synthesiser, though heís rather too fond of those obligatory aural stings.

The acting, which includes a clearly-slumming-it-but-having-fun Stephen Rea, is a very mixed bag that is not helped by a wider variety of accents than Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. It gives the film an almost surreal feel though I doubt that was intended. Werewolf-The Beast Among Us is probably one of those film you can pick apart and laugh at a great deal, but I enjoyed it more than some of the comparable cinema releases this year. It has good intentions and its slightly weird melding of the very old and the new creates an off-kilter effect which I found quite interesting. A shame it ends up falling apart a bit, though the allocation of an extra half an hour or so within which to tell its story would have helped matters considerably. Overall a sometimes daft but fun monster pic. I suppose you could take half a star or even a star off if youíre not a fan of werewolf films, but in the end all reviews are influenced a little by the writerís taste arenít they?

Rating: 6.5/10


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