Aug 20 2009 5:17pm

Wolf Man Trailer Dramatic, Romantic, Mildly Nauseating

This afternoon, Universal released a trailer for its new golden-age-throwback The Wolf ManThis was a pretty smart move, considering most people had forgotten about this since we first pulled faces at Emily Blunt and motioned for her to get out while she could.

Luckily, things look better than feared. Benicio del Toro returns to the family home to bury his brother, only to be bitten by the werewolf of local legend. (What are the chances?) His father (Anthony Hopkins) plays a verse or two of I Told You So in D Minor, and his brother’s widow starts to get a little too wrapped up in Benicio’s welfare when the neighbors come by with their pitchforks and their icebaths and their electroshock therapy and their rock-and-roll music.

(If you think the atmosphere looks familiar, it probably is: half the screenwriting team wrote Sleepy Hollow, and the same outsider vs. suspicious populace dynamic is front-and-center here.)

Director Joe Johnston, coasting on goodwill from having made The Rocketeer and hoping nobody remembers Jurassic Park III or Hidalgo, seems to be playing it straight, mixing family drama with the beastly gore. So far, it works—though when you have a ringer cast like this, the scenery-chewing takes care of itself—and the dead-serious approach gives the gory transformation effects an air of real terror. Maybe The Wolf Man will be the horror movie to bring audiences back from torture porn.

What do you think? A horror classic done well, or New Moon for people old enough to drink?

Genevieve Valentine is an incurable movie and TV nerd whose fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Federations, and more. Her first novel is forthcoming from Prime Books. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks on her blog.

Brian Kaul
1. bkaul
OK, the movie looks like it could be interesting, but sitting through an advertisement in order to watch another advertisement? Lame.
Genevieve Valentine
2. GLValentine
@ bkaul - That ad didn't come up for me when I played it, but I have the same feeling about ads. I switched it out; we'll see how long the YouTube clips stay up. ;)
Jason Henninger
3. jasonhenninger
I really love werewolves and feel they just never get the attention they deserve. I get pretty happy when a werewolf movie looks halfway decent. This one has potential, with a cast like that. Big time. But then, ain't like Anthony Hopkins has never been in a bad movie.
Nick Mamatas
4. Nick Mamatas
That'll do.
Nick Mamatas
5. Harry Connolly
I'll watch if del Toro reprises the creepy spy-on-a-beautiful-woman-with-a-telescope scene. That was the most unsettling part of the original Wolf Man.
Brian Kaul
6. bkaul
Thanks Genevieve. :) If YouTube takes it down, Yahoo's got an ad-free copy of the trailer up that has embedded (I guess just because Hugo Weaving is in it).

Maybe The Wolf Man will be the horror movie to bring audiences back from torture porn.

We can only hope! It'll be interesting to see how this turns out. The cast is promising, at least.
Nick Mamatas
7. Saladin
Looks decent. Though I wish they would stop making trailers that are basically redacted versions of the ENTIRE FRICKING MOVIE'S PLOT. Hollywood flicks are unsurprising enough...

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