I saw The Wolfman on Tuesday evening, and I have a new favorite film for 2010. Granted, it's only February, and the other competition is arguably pretty soft, but here we go:
1) The Wolfman
2) Book of Eli
1 jillionty-five) Legion
It's probably irresponsible to review this film without considering the source material, but I'm not well known for a responsible treatment of cinema. I've heard there were old, black-and-white werewolf films, and I think I even saw a couple of them as a kid, but I'm not paying them any mind right now.
Hopkins is, as always, brilliant. He appears to move through the various demands of his role effortlessly. And Del Toro is no slouch. His role requires a greater range, as he progresses from a very mild and pale man to the man/monster we're all paying money to see. Honestly, he's scarier without the fur and computer graphics. Hugo Weaving and Emily Blunt also did fine jobs. Throughout the film I kept trying to peer beyond the parts to see the actors, and I kept not seeing them.
Remember that moment in The Fellowship of The Ring when Hugo Weaving says "Welcome to Rivendell, Mister Baggins" and we all replace the name with "Mister Anderson?" Well, this movie didn't have one of those. I think Hugo Weaving is finally out of The Matrix for me.
My only complaint, and it may not even be valid, is the ease with which the London police force of 1891 produced firearms. I've long been under the impression that they didn't carry firearms, so the fact that a few of them did was a little jarring. Historians are welcome to weigh in on this one.
The movie does a great job of making us ask ourselves where the monsters are. And that's really the point of horror movies. To quote Dan Wells (link to the full article here) talking about horror in general, "It is an inherently moral genre because it is confronting and overcoming evil." Yup. That's The Wolfman in a nutshell. We confront and overcome evil, and through this confrontation we find ourselves posing some interesting moral questions. Oh, and we get blood splattered all over us, because this is 2010 and in 2010 you can't tell a story about a monster ripping people apart without putting some food coloring in some corn syrup...