HEATHER ANDOLINA takes a look at The Wolfman 2010, the remake of the classic Universal lycanthrope horror
TITLE: The Wolfman
YEAR RELEASED: 2010
DIRECTOR: Joe Johnston
CAST: Benecio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Art Malik and Geraldine Chaplin
The 2010 film, The Wolfman, is a remake of Universal’s 1941 classic horror film by the same name (although different spelling).
In the original, Larry Talbot, played by legendary actor Lon Chaney Jr, is transformed into the wolf man after being bitten by a werewolf.
A gypsy, reveals to him that he is cursed and will transform into a werewolf every full moon; for when one is bitten by a werewolf and lives, he will turn into one himself.
The remake follows a similar premise, wherein the main character, Lawrence Talbot (Benecio Del Toro), is tracked down by his brother’s fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt) who informs him of the savage murder of his brother Ben (Simon Merrells).
Talbot returns to his family estate, Talbot Hall in the town of Blackmoor, in England.
He is reunited with his father, John Talbot (Sir Anthony Hopkins), and the two set out to investigate Ben’s murder and try to find his killer. While searching for his brother’s murderer, Talbot learns of a hairy, ravenous beast that has been killing the villagers.
It is not long that Talbot comes face to face with the beast, and although he survives, he is bitten and cursed to transform into a werewolf every full moon. Talbot went from being the hunter, to now the hunted, and must hide from the Scotland Yard Inspector Aberline (Hugo Weaving), who is on the case.
The race is on for Talbot as the Inspector closes in on him, but the plot thickens, as there is a twist that not only reveals the truth about what really happened to Talbot’s mother, but the family secret his father had been hiding.
Unfortunately, Talbot’s fate had been set into motion from the beginning, and although sad, it was meant to be.
It’s always difficult to keep oneself impartial when watching a film that is a remake, and this is very true for 2010’s The Wolfman.
In some ways it is very much like the original, especially when it comes to the gothic, spooky atmosphere of the late 19 century, in which the film does well. The story line is similar, but with some minor differences like the plot twist.
To me, the major difference is in the use of CGI for the transformation sequences when Talbot changes from man into werewolf.
This is done rather well, and is certainly an upgrade from the original. The costuming and make-up for the film, which it won an Academy Award for make-up, is top notch.
The 2010 remake has more blood and gore, which to some might be better than the original, but to some not so much. I felt the film was slow at times, and was bogged down by an inane script.
It lacked the suspense of the original, and seemed more about jump scares then building actual trepidation.
As for the acting, Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot comes off too dark and moody.
One of the things that bothered me was the lack of feeling or sympathy emitting from the actor.
In the original, you feel for Talbot’s character because he knows of the horrible, atrocities he commits as a werewolf, but feels powerless to stop it. He has to live with his terrible acts of mutilation and murder, all the while conflicted with his conscious, and loss of humanity.
The 2010 remake hardly shows this side of Talbot, and it’s a shame because that’s what made the wolf man a sympathetic character in the original.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, watch the original 1941 The Wolf Man, and skip this one.
What did you think of The Wolfman 2010? Tell us in the comments section below!
HEATHER ANDOLINA is an Historian, with a Bachelor’s degree in History from Thomas More University, and a Master’s degree in History from Winthrop University. Her Master’s thesis was published under the title, Haunted by Grief: How Spiritualism Offered Comfort and Stability in the Tragic Life of Mary Lincoln. She has also authored several historical essays for a number of websites. She has extensive museum, archival, and curatorial experience. She is a Co-Owner/Producer at Underbyte Productions.