WEREWOLF: THE BEAST AMONG US
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Steven Bauer as HYDE
Nia Peeples as VADOMA
Stephen Rea as DOC
Ed Quinn as CHARLES
Ana Ularu as KAZIA
Created by: Louis Morneau
BY KEVIN CARR
More than two years ago, when a remake of the classic Universal monster movie “The Wolf Man” was announced, I was thrilled. And with Joe Johnston at the helm (whose films I have generally liked, including “Jumanji” and the much maligned “Jurassic Park 3”), I was even more excited.
Then the film came out, and that excitement failed. “The Wolf Man” was always one of my favorite monster movies in the classic Universal canon. However, Johnston’s film was a bit of a mess, needlessly grim at times and often without much focus. I didn’t hate it, and in retrospect, the extended director’s cut ended up with a better film. However, I really wished for something more in the spirit of the original 1941 “The Wolf Man.”
After a disappointing box office, Universal decided to take the franchise direct to home video, and they announced “Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” as one of their upcoming films. Originally meant to be a prequel to the 2010 film, it was broken off completely to be its own movie. I can’t say I was as excited to see this movie as I was to see “The Wolf Man” two years ago, but I was definitely interested.
“Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” tells the story of a small European village that is terrorized by mysterious creature attacks. A young villager joins up with a band of werewolf hunters to try to capture and destroy the creature wreaking havoc.
What I genuinely loved about “Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” is that it was an honest-to-god werewolf movie. There was no teen angst. There was no reworking of the mythology. There was no attempt to get the film classified as a “Romance” on sites like IMDb or BoxOfficeMojo.com. It was a traditional movie with its heart in the same place as the old “Wolf Man” films that Universal put out in the 40s.
The movie also knew its place. Like the direct-to-video sequels of “The Scorpion King” that Universal pumps out (which also has its roots in the old Universal monster movies, being spin-offs from “The Mummy”), this sequel wasn’t trying to top a theatrical release. It was modest, and it had fun within its scope.
The most enjoyable part of the film was the group of werewolf hunters, each with a colorful past an look. In particularly, me and my sons enjoyed the girl with the leather bra. Trust me, leather bras make any movie better.
Oddly similar to the godawful “Red Riding Hood” film from a couple years ago, “Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” tops that “Twilight” rip-off by giving some bloody good fun. It’s not a fantastic film, and it has its flaws in all the direct-to-video ways. However, it’s worth checking out for fans of an old-fashioned werewolf movie.
The Blu-ray comes with deleted scenes, a feature commentary and the featurettes “Making the Monster,” “Transformation: Man to Beast” and “Monster Legacy.” There’s also access to BD-Live, pocketBLU, Digital Copy and UltraViolet streaming technology.