Welcome to the Second Union 31 Days of Horror event! Every day leading up to Tuesday, October 31st, (starting Sunday, October 1st) we will post a review of one horror film.
Today’s Film: The Wolf Man. Enjoy!
The Wolf Man is directed by George Waggner and stars Lon Chaney Jr. as the titular classic Universal Monster. We are at the halfway point of my Universal Monsters segment on 31 Days of Horror, and this is a film that I hadn’t watched for half a decade. I literally hadn’t seen this film since 2012. So, generally, I was excited to rewatch it. It’s not as good as I remember it being, but it’s still one of the better entries in the Universal Monsters universe.
For starters, it does get off to a bit of a rocky opening. The first third of the movie is more focused on establishing the relationship between Larry Talbot and Gwen Conliffe. It’s quite slow-paced in these moments, and the campy writing doesn’t help. However, when the fortune-telling Gypsies come to town, you can tell that it’s going to get good. And it does, but not without its issues. Like said, the relationship established between the future Wolf Man and his love interest is pretty cheesy. Another problem is a lot of the moments seem like filler compared to the masterful stories of Dracula and Frankenstein. There are a few plot holes too, like: why does the gypsy Bela’s werewolf form look nothing like Larry’s? Why does Gwen’s fiance’s dog bark at Larry, but not the freaking bloodhounds who are actually trying to hunt the wolf?
I can’t go on all day about the problems, though. Beneath the surface is a truly entertaining film. While many can argue that the actual wolf man form doesn’t appear much, and the overall effect is lacking, no one can deny the incredibly iconic and terrifying face of the Wolf Man. He is truly one of the scariest things in cinema history.
Don’t put on The Wolf Man expecting something extremely fast-paced or entertaining. It takes a while to get invested and the corny dialogue certainly doesn’t help. When the Wolf Man appears on screen, though, it’s something of magic. There’s truly no beating the classics. I’m going to give it an A-.
The Wolf Man stars Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Bela Lugosi, Maria Ouspenskaya, Evelyn Ankers. Directed by George Waggner.