Lawrence Talbot's childhood ended the night his mother died. His father sent him from the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor to an insane asylum, then he goes to America. When his brother's fiancée, Gwen Conliffe, tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns to his father's estate to learn that his brother's mauled body has been found. Reunited with his estranged father, Lawrence sets out to find his brother's killer... and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself. Someone or something with brute strength and insatiable blood lust has been killing the villagers, and a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline comes to investigate.Written by
One scene involving frozen corpses, was shot in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, England, which is conserved by Britain's National Trust organization. Universal donated five thousand pounds to the Trust, in return for letting them film there. See more »
As Talbot walks the moor the moon arcs across the sky (i.e., time passing), but the sunlight on the face of it does not change at all. See more »
The planet in the Universal logo glows white. See more »
The Unrated Director's Cut includes additional scenes not seen in the theatrical release:
The Universal logo at the beginning of the film is the 1940's logo used in the original "The Wolfman"
Ben Talbot's death is slightly longer.
An entirely new sequence showing Lawrence Talbot performing in a London play. Gwen Conliffe visits him in his dressing room post-show and interrupts a party to inform him that his brother Ben has gone missing. Lawrence dismisses her by saying that he cannot help as he is contracted to do 30 performances and is leaving for the States in the morning. This sequence creates an anachronism/goof later in the film as instead of mentioning her visiting him in London, Lawrence continuously references a letter that Gwen sent him which brings him to Blackmoor (as seen in the theatrical version).
As Lawrence travels by train to Blackmoor, there is a scene with an uncredited Max Von Sydow as an old man who gives Lawrence his silver wolf-head cane as protection (the cane that Sir John Talbot wields at the end of the film).
The tavern scene is slightly longer. After MacQueen's "melted down me mum's silverware" story, the villagers scoff at the notion of the killer being a werewolf, and blame the Talbots' misfortune on their dealings with the gypsies. One of the villagers calls Lawrence's late mother a "crazy gypsy whore", and Lawrence angrily confronts him and throws a drink in his face. After Lawrence is kicked out of the tavern, the villagers realize his identity.
When the posse fires into the hole after MacQueen's arm is ripped off, a rifle slug nails MacQueen in the chest, killing him. Additionally, there are a number of deleted and extended scenes:
After his attack, Lawrence has a short conversation with Gwen where she blames herself for the tragedy that has befallen the Talbots. Lawrence looks out the window and sees the posse that has come to round him up and tells Gwen to get his father while he goes outside to talk to them (the "you bear the mark of the beast" scene)
Lawrence's conversation with Singh is slightly longer. After Lawrence asks him why he never left Blackmoor, Singh explains that Sir John saved his life many years ago and that as a result he vowed to stay by his side.
The mausoleum transformation scene is slightly longer.
The London chase scene is longer. The Wolfman walks into a costume party / opera performance and is mistaken for a costumed patron. He attacks one of the patrons but is chased off by Aberline and his men.
Additionally, the Wolfman crashes a puppet theater performance in a park and kills the puppeteer. Aberline chases him out of the park and into the path of a steam engine (as seen in the theatrical version).
The final fight is slightly longer and sequenced differently than the theatrical version.
Doesn't beat the classic, but comes out a better remake than most recent ones
Let me start by clarifying two things: 1) I'm a huge fan of horror Universal monster movies and the original Wolfman is a must see to me 2) I'm 18 so this review is not biased by age
The horror genre in particular suffers an overflow of remakes, reboots, etc today. Once in a while is okay, but there's far too many at once. This is nowhere near as bad as some (looking at you especially House on a Haunted Hill and Wicker Man) but this still didn't quite hit the mark. I wanted to see originality as long as it made sense and there were some interesting ideas here. There's also some pretty good scenes as well. The problem is that it's crippled by certain problems.
Let's start with the good things: Rick Baker was already loved for his effects in werewolf movies like An American Werewolf in London, and Wolf, as well as other movies where even if the movie's bad like Planet of the Apes, his work is excellent and kudos for getting him back. Baker clearly has respect for make-up legend Jack Pierce and the make-up is fantastic. I'm not a fan of CGI and I'm glad the movie cut itself down a bit although it did include it in some scenes. But Baker's work clearly shows.
Hugo Weaving was great and while Anthony Hopkins had a rougher start, he still did rather well. His character is harder than Rain's portrayal but in some ways it works. Certainly more than it did for his portrayal of Van Helsing in my eyes. The settings were fantastic. There's a lot of 19th century buildings that look gorgeous and act as a perfect contrast to the dark and creepy woods.
Now for the bad: The build-up in many scenes was rather limited. The asylum scene was okay, but many scenes could have built the tension better.
The acting from del Toro and Blunt was rather unemotional. I found Gwen Conliffe to be more supportive in this version, but Blunt's emotions were limited. She's a beautiful woman however no doubt. del Toro looks a bit like Lon Chaney Jr. and does well in the make-up, but the Larry side is bland. He's just not able to play it as tragically as Chaney. What's more while some complained that Chaney being Claude Rains son was absurd I can sooner believe in werewolves than the idea del Toro and Hopkins are kin.
Another flaw is the limited screen time of Maleva the old gypsy a key character in the original. She's okay in this, but given little to do which really ticks me off.
A big factor is the werewolf itself. In movies like the original Wolfman and Mummy there was a silent dread. The monsters showed their great power by intimidation alone and the idea they can kill you and go wild but prefer to stalk and plan. Both remakes made them more open to their power. The original's felt scarier without it, but the remakes make it work in their own way a bit.
I found this did better with the horror side than the emotional side. If Talbot was played as dramatically as in the original I think this might have done better. As a whole it's alright. Not too bad, but I can't say as memorable as the original.
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