A fine remake of the 1941 UNIVERSAL classic, THE WOLFMAN retains much of the charm of the original.
Celebrated stage actor Lawrence Talbot (the brooding BENICIO DEL TORO) is approached by Gwen Conliffe (EMILY BLUNT), the fiance of his brother Ben (SIMON MORRELLS), with the bad news that Ben is missing.
Although he has been away for many years, Lawrence decides to journey home to the Talbot Estate at Blackmoor to offer his services but finds the manor house somewhat neglected. Gwen is temporarily staying here as a guest to Sir John Talbot (SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS) and his faithful Indian manservant Singh (ART MALIK).
Sir John gravely informs Lawrence he has had a wasted trip, for Bens mutilated body has been found on the moors. The superstitious local population, including Police Inspector Nye (DAVID SCHOFIELD, an actor with previous celluloid Lycanthrope experience) and Doctor Lloyd (MICHAEL CRONIN), believe a savage animal killed Ben, perhaps the Bear kept in the local Gypsy camp, and Lawrence sets off for the settlement to find answers.
He talks to the elderly and mysterious Maleva (GERALDING CHAPLIN) but as night falls the camp is suddenly attacked by a brutal creature and Lawrence is severely wounded in the shoulder. Returned home by the Gypsies and nursed by Gwen, Lawrence soon finds to his astonishment that the bite if fully healed.
Meanwhile the growing Blackmoor mystery has gained the attention of acclaimed Scotland Yard Inspector Francis Aberline (an authorative HUGO WEAVING), who comes to investigate. He knows Lawrence was a former inmate of the Lambeth Asylum, run by Doctor Hoeneggar (SIR ANTHONY SHER in a cameo) and believes the carnage could either have been inflicted by a savage animal, the like of which no longer inhabit British shores, or perhaps a lunatic with immense strength.
Others think the Talbot family is cursed and that they undergo a horrifying transformation whenever the moon is full.
I found THE WOLFMAN an enjoyable film to watch. It is very atmospheric, from the mist shrouded moors to the smog filled streets of 1890s London, yet has a somewhat old fashioned approach which gives the film a certain appeal sadly lost on many modern horrors. Nevertheless, there is certainly something creepy about a Werewolf which is just at home running on all fours as well as on two legs.
Although this is an Extended Cut, I have admittedly never seen the cinematic version and am therefore unsure if the additional footage helps the story or not.
Sadly, as if often the case, Special Features are at a bare minimum and here we merely have 5 cut scenes running to 11 minutes. There is not even a Trailer, Making Of documentary or Commentary, but at least the film itself is worthwhile of our attention.