Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Wolf Man. B+
One of the best things about movies is that seeing the ones that belong in the holiday genres make that particular holiday feel all the more festive. Though there's no actual Halloween genre, it's obvious that horror films are meant for this great day. And as this is the week of Halloween, I found it fitting, as I have in the past, to indulge in a few scary classics (I'll try and see as much as I can in the days leading up to Halloween). First up was The Wolf Man, not the remake that I love but the original that most people prefer over the 2010 version. Personally I didn't think it was as good, and here's why: the story wasn't as compelling and at the time the horror genre was still a little awkward and clumsy. As for the story, I thought in the new one having Lawrence trying to investigate the murder of his brother and then falling in love with his fiance was a great way for the story to develop. But the original isn't quite as smooth. Lawrence arrives at his father's mansion simply because his brother has died. Then by chance he finds his romantic interest in a shop nearby. While there's nothing wrong with this, it all comes together a little too smoothly. On the other hand, there's still a lot in the movie that's really solid, and clearly inspirational to the remake. And one strength this film has over the remake is the role of the gypsies in the story. In the remake they seemed to be there almost as a homage to the original. But in the 1941 version, they're present in much more of the picture and play an integral part in the birth of the legendary monster. One aspect that's present in both versions, and more effective in original, is the element of tragedy. The Wolf Man is one of the saddest of all the great monsters, because he can do nothing about killing his victims, and then recognizes the hopelessness of his state. Death is really the only answer, and in the end, quite a gift.