BLU-RAY REVIEW: Werewolf - The Beast Among Us
The Sort-of Sequel To 2010's The Wolfman Hits Hi-Def Home Video...
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So put the word "werewolf" anywhere in a movie's description and chances are I'll watch it no questions asked. So when I heard Universal was going to release a somewhat sort-of sequel to 2010's The Wolfman, I was excited. Now, I didn't exactly love The Wolfman remake, but I thought it did a lot of things very very well. The special effects were solid, the acting was well done, and the story, while obviously a remake, was well adapted for a new era and audience. Thus, a sequel sounded great. And while this pseudo-sequel may not be a blockbuster of any type, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us isn't the bomb some expected it to be. In fact, it's pretty dang entertaining (at times) and well worth a watch if you're anything like me and enjoy a group of werewolf hunters shooting crossbow bolts and swinging swords at angry men who've turned into savage beasts.
Set in a small Eastern European village in the 1890s, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us finds a local doctor (Stephen Rea) and his young assistant Daniel (Guy Wilson) plagued by numerous cases of animal attacks suspected of being caused by a werewolf. The good doctor of course has an immediate and permanent cure for any villager who has any wound which looks anything like a bite and Daniel (Guy Wilson), who desires to be a doctor himself, soon finds himself enamored with the werewolf hunters who show up to kill the beast and collect the village's bounty. Of course, when Daniel begins to wake up the morning after these attacks take place and has scratches, cuts, and wounds all over his body, he begins to wonder just who's responsible for the attacks and if he can be trusted to help the hunters...or hunt the hunters.
Ok what if the film's plot isn't exactly the most original nor the acting that impressive. The story following the misadventures of a rag-tag band of werewolf hunters whose ranks are made up of the usual miscreants and their acting doesn't have to be perfect. They are, after all, villains with hearts of gold, thieves, liars, and scoundrels who each have their special place in the roster: the tough guy with an eye-patch, the hard-talking swordsman, the woman who could kick any man's butt, the cowboy with a crossbow - it's almost painful and yet so much fun. And that is what makes Werewolf: The Beast Among Us so much fun and enjoyable. Werewolf: The Beast Among Us is entertaining most of the time and sometimes down-right silly; all the while featuring scenes filled with exciting mischief and mayhem and scenes that'll make you question the way you spend your time.
One great thing about the movie is the production value, which is impressive all around. The village looks real, the sets look great, and even the costumes look like they were pulled right out of Eastern Europe in the 1890s (or at least they look like what I'd imagine they looked like). So what if the CGI at times disappoints? The surroundings look near perfect.
As for video and audio, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us includes a 1080p video in 1.78:1 widescreen and an engaging 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that's pretty solid. While the film lacks the details of a big budget Hollywood movie, it does feature some impressive textures, details, and colors. Likewise, the audio mix delivers clear dialogue and effects from the front and rear speakers as well as the subwoofer.
Special features include a few worth watching; a "theatrical cut" (even though I was unaware this was ever in theaters) and an extended, unrated cut; a filmmaker's commentary with director Louis Morbeau and producer Mike Elliot which is decent, but ultimately forgettable; a few deleted scenes; 20 minutes of featurettes featuring info on Universal Studio's monster movies and their history, this new film's production and special effects.
Overall, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us isn't going to win any awards nor is it going to attract much of an audience, but what it will do is at least keep those few of us who love anything and everything werewolf entertained for 90 minutes.
Werewolf: The Beast Among Us is available now on blu-ray wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley