DVD Review: Werewolf - The Beast Among Us / Cert: 18 / Director: Louis Morneau / Screenplay: Michael Tabb, Catherine Cyran, Louis Morneau / Starring: Stephen Bauer, Guy Wilson, Stephen Rea, Nia Peebles / Release Date: October 22nd
Ah, Universal. The studio has a rich heritage of lycanthrope cinematic offerings, giving us the original Claude Rains and Bela Lugosi starring The Wolf Man as well as one of the first successful horror comedies of all time, An American Werewolf In London. However, they’ve also given us the 2010 remake of The Wolfman, so their slate is not untarnished.
The studio's latest film follows a small band of rag tag werewolf hunters who arrive at a town in turmoil as it suffers constant attacks from the beast. Setting their usual traps, they prepare for what they believe will be just another easy job, but they’re wrong. There’s a witch-hunt in the town to try and work out who is responsible, as well as outside interference from poachers eager to get their hands on the reward money.
If you can get past a pretty ropey CGI werewolf – including transformation scenes – and ignore all the obvious homages to past Universal horrors such as American Werewolf and even Jaws, then you might find yourself almost enjoying the movie. The characters are quite likeable, with the lead hunter a mix of Van Helsing and Indiana Jones. There are some decent gore effects on show and the dead body prosthetics are impressive. There are enough wry gags used to cause your lips to smile, although not too much so it steers clear of parody by a wide berth.
The ending all seems to go a bit Underworld for a moment and is a little out of place with the rest of the pacing, but the performances on show are reliable, even by an underused Stephen Rea as the town doctor. Switch off your brain, turn off the lights and give this a chance - you might just surprise yourself.