Reviews

Review: Werewolf: The Beast Among Us

Well, that was something. 

And not a good something either.  I understand that Universal is looking to cash in on the fact that werewolves (along with vampires) are popular these days, but surely they can come up with something that’s just a notch above a bad SyFy Channel flick, right?

At least, you would think so. 

Werewolf: The Beast Among Us is really bad. It is a mish-mash of clichés that try to cleverly harness lines and themes from other werewolf movies but it fails miserably on all counts. Instead, nothing at all is clever, nothing is fresh and we are left with a host of nameless and faceless (literally sometimes) people getting killed and torn to shreds for a reason the writers seems to have forgotten. And really by about the halfway point when all is revealed, you don’t care. 

A beast is terrorizing what presumably is a small Eastern European village set somewhere in the late-1800s/early-1900s. Luckily, a squad of elite werewolf hunters just happens to be close by and they travel to the village in order to hunt and dispose of the creature that is taking numerous lives every night. 

So, every night the werewolf hunters take God-awful long amounts of time setting up all kinds of elaborate traps in order to catch the beast only to have the traps completely fail and we are spent wondering why the director took so much time showing us the set up. They also try to fool the viewer into thinking a number of people are the beast when it is totally obvious who the werewolf really is. Maybe they needed a longer movie and figured “F*** it, let’s add some more clichés since we don’t have enough already.”  

Then after we learn the identity of the beast (which again is painfully obvious), Werewolf takes a complete turn in the opposite direction introducing a vampire into the mix (we get it, they are popular, they must be in any supernatural film) and pretty much totally ignoring the hunters in favor of trying to make the viewer feel pity on the beast – the same beast that killed an ungodly amount of people during the first half of the film. 

Here’s what else you get: 

  • Apparently, in small Eastern European villages set in the past, there’s a whole bunch of Americans living there, as well as British and Latinos. 
  • Native villagers hate gypsies. 
  • Eye patches aren’t just for pirates anymore.
  • Painful, eye-gouging acting from everyone not named Stephen Rea (and he even phones it in).
  • A CG werewolf hanging from a tree. 
  • The obligatory “gonna need a bigger trap” joke. 
  • Nia Peeples dying like she was still on Fame (complete with a nice twist).
  • A dismembered body symposium. 

I will give some props to the special effects, which at times are actually half decent. Some of the transformations between human and beast are extremely well done. Some, well not so much, but others look like they took care to actually make it somewhat believable. The props also are fairly well done with lots of gruesome bodies torn to pieces and some nifty gore here and there. The CG of the actual werewolf running and performing actions, however, is just dime store terrible. 

One other thing I liked (since there are only two), the production value was very good. Sets are believable, the film is crisp and looks pretty good in high definition and has a general feeling that some money was spent making this craptacular production. 

Watch it on Netflix, if you have already exhausted all your other options. 


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