Who's In It: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin
The Basics: It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! Okay, it's not a real shot like from a 19th century pistol or anything. It was just someone walking into a pile of wet British leaves at night. Or maybe it's daytime. In this movie, the afternoon is extremely goth and is as dark as moonlit moor. But anyway, back to those leaves. It's really loud when they walk into them. And this happens a lot. Big cheap, annoying, unscary, noisy-bang-shock moments meant to make you jump out of your seat. In between these (they come about once a minute for all 105 minutes) is this story of a guy who turns into a werewolf. And he's reasonably upset about it. Not too upset though. Just upset enough to move in and put the makeout moves on the grieving girlfriend of his dead brother who got killed by this other werewolf.
What's The Deal: You know what's great about this movie? That's right, nothing. It's lunkheadedly complicated and self-serious with curses and weird insane asylum child torture and Oedipal mommy boners and werewolf-on-werewolf action, tilty camera angles and blood dripping down gravestones and thunderclaps preceded by horny wolf howling, smirky glances from lazy detectives and timid romances and Anthony Hopkins behaving like what would happen if Hannibal Lecter were a really dysfunctional father. It's kind of like one of those old 1960s Hammer horror films but turned inside out and triple confused. Now my confession: I was dumbly entertained in spite of (or maybe because of) all that.
Accounting For My Apparently Major Lapse In Taste and Judgment: In this film's defense, the scenes where dirty, dull, dumptrucky Benicio Del Toro turns into a werewolf are pretty extravagant. And the fact that he sometimes seems like he might be able to secretly fly sort of added to my unwarranted delight. Another thing: I like gore. There's a lot of it here. Every single person who gets killed REALLY gets killed. Like claws-stuck-in-the-back-of-the-head-and-out-the-mouth killed. I can't help myself from loving that kind of thing. It probably makes me a bad person. I don't care.
For Fans Of: Van Helsing; SCTV's "Monster Chiller Horror Theater;" scripts set in England with American actors shoehorned in because, clearly, there were no thespians in the U.K. with the chops to deal with that much prosthetic fur ("He was raised by his aunt in America..."); Gypsy-sploitation; Emily Blunt in pitch black corsets; fog machines; poetry slams in praise of the moon; actors who convey anguish by twisting their necks around and cocking their heads at strange angles.
Stay For The Closing Credits: Because they're red! Like blood! Scary!