Saturday, October 2, 2010
House of the Wolf Man (2009, Eben McGarr)
Starting the October horror festivities is a brand new throwback horror film, House of the Wolf Man. Made to look like it was filmed in the golden age of the Universal Monsters (as the poster above shows), this film instantly became a must see for me after reading a little write up on the film and seeing a picture of the Wolf Man makeup effects. The film just looked like a lot of fun.
House of the Wolf Man has a familiar story to the haunted house movies of yore. Five people, seemingly chosen at random, are invited to the castle of Dr. Bela Reinhardt (Ron Chaney, great grandson of Lon Chaney Jr.). The purpose is to select a person to inherit his castle (which is strange because he doesn't seem to be dying or even that old). As in every film of this type, it is obvious that these five people were not just chosen randomly and the eccentric Dr. also has some sinister plan.
House of the Wolf Man started out a little slow but it did a great job of replicating those old haunted house/Universal monster movies. The acting was good (except Chaney who was obviously chosen because of his heritage and not his thespian skills) and the story was a fun homage with its tongue planted firmly in cheek. One actress I particularly liked was Cheryl Rodes who played the mysterious, raven-haired Elmira Cray. She looked just like Christina Applegate if she were a Suicide Girl and was definitely the stand out in the cast. Really though, the best part of the film is the last 15 minutes when the monsters are finally revealed and viewers are treated to one of the best fight scenes ever featuring Wolf Man and Frankenstein's Monster. I mean, these guys throw each other through walls and leap off chandeliers. It was something you have to see to believe. Overall, the first half of the film could have had a little more action but the last half easily made up for it.