I caught a screening of the much anticipated Wolfman remake while I was attending a conference in Albuquerque this weekend. This latest deb...
Wolfman in Love
But while The Wolfman had some decent horror elements (heads, arms and other appendages fly when the lycanthrope gets loose) at its core, it is essentially a romantic pastiche of a horror film. To give an example of what I mean, think Bram stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola. While Coppola’s film employs definite aspects of horror (bloodletting and monstrous transformations included) everything is peripheral to the love story between Dracula and his reincarnated beloved, Mina Harker.
The same is true of The Wolfman. Lawrence Talbot returns home after many years abroad to discover the cause of his brother’s sudden and violent death. Once home, he meets his brother’s intended, the beautiful Gwen and his affection for her blurs the line between fraternal duty and personal desire.
There’s a definite connection in the film between the beast within and male sexuality. After Talbot is bitten, his sexual desire for Gwen is more marked, and in one particularly tense scene, Lawrence is mesmerized by her heartbeat and actually growls at her. But this type of male sexual desire is threatening, and to protect her from himself, Lawrence sends Gwen away to London. The werewolf’s violence is also equated with sexual violence, as the detective sent to solve the animal attacks is Aberline, who also worked on the case of Jack the Ripper. This destructive sexual desire is echoed in the figure of Lawrence’s father, who it's revealed killed Lawrence’s brother because he was planning to take Gwen away from Talbot hall forever.
Regardless of my earlier complaints about the use of CGI in the wolfman’s transformation, The Wolfman is a viable alternative to the more juvenile werewolves of Twilight and might howl in a new era for the lycanthrope in modern cinema.
Read what others had to say:
Review: The Wolfman (2010)
The Wolfman (2010): Impure In Heart
About author: Monster Scholar
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