I saw The Wolfman lastnight. What an oddly subpar film. The film was not really bad in any particular way…it just wasn’t at all good.
I never saw the original, but reading about it on Wikipedia it seemed it did not have at all the same father/son plot of the remake. Remakes often seem to add a family member as the villian, and for why? It did not add anything to the film except to make it harder to suspend disbelief. What was the deal with the feral boy living in the cave? Why did Anthony Hopkins embrace his feral side, rather than trying to get it removed? Why was he so cruel to send his son to an asylum?
I read a few reviews before seeing the film, and they all made note of the CGI bear and deer. Both of those animals are on screen only momentarily, and due to it being set at night it is not so noticeable. I really didn’t have a problem them doing that, and can see it being cheaper than getting live animals as the scenes they were in were so very short. What I did find noticeable was the bad CGI transformations. Did this film just have no budget? The CGI quality of this film is equal to something from the late 90’s. I don’t have a problem with CGI replacing practical make up and effects most of the time, and often think it can do a better job. In this case however it is clear that choosing CGI over Rick Baker’s work was a mistake.
The other thing I found quite strange was moving the setting to Blackmoor near Stonehenge. During the film when Benicio is chasing after the Wolfman, he just happens to get knocked down and bitten in he middle of Stonehenge. What a coincidence. Was the setting meant to add to the mystical aspect or was it just meant to be coincidence?
All in all the film is a 50’s horror movie made with modern technology. That’s it. Just because we can do this, doesn’t mean we should. Nothing is gained by remaking this film without updating it and the end result seems very odd. The charm of the original 50’s horror films is lost and as the film is not updated for modern times the impact the original had on the audience is lost also. I don’t understand why they didn’t update the film for modern times and a modern audience as that would have been truly interesting.