on October 2, 2012
Classic Universal Horror films are being honored this October. What better way to do that than to add a new movie to the franchise? "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" is Universal's newest attempt at giving the tragic hairy monster another chance to shine after the disappointing reaction to "The Wolfman." Don't let the direct-to-DVD tag fool you. This is an entertaining and intriguing addition to the genre of werewolf movies.
I still don't know what there was to be disappointed in with "The Wolfman." It was the perfect blend of two of my favorite horror brands: the gory gothic world of Hammer and the classic Universal look of the monster made famous by Jack Pierce in the 1940s. I am one of the few people who actually loved the film and felt it was a great homage to the classic monster movies of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.
"Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" tells the story of a young man (Guy Wilson) in the 19th century named Daniel. His village is being attacked by a wolf-like creature. Daniel assists the town doctor (Stephen Rea) in caring for the victims and making sure no one is infected by the bite of the beast. He decides to help a band of hunters track down the monster after they're hired to rid the town of the werewolf menace.
I know it sounds like a typical monster movie cut from the cloth of every other werewolf flick put out over the years. Thankfully, it's got some fun twists and turns that are meant to keep viewers wondering who the creature is and why it's attacking seemingly targeted individuals. It's just as much a "who-done-it" type movie as it is a classic horror vehicle.
Just like "The Wolfman," "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" reminds me more of a Hammer Horror movie than a Universal Monster Classic. Everything from bloody body parts to the period-piece setting screams Hammer. There's not really much here that feels like it belongs in the Universal Monster Classics category.
Being that it's a straight-to-DVD movie, you would expect the CGI and visual effects to be subpar. That's not the case here. There are plenty of very convincing half-eaten bodies and the practical werewolf makeup and effects look great. The CGI is one step below what you'd see in a big budget movie, but still gets the job done.
My only complaint about "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" is the picture is a bit too clean. It feels like it was shot in HD and that takes you out of the film sometimes. The impressive 5.1 surround mix delivers all the beastly sounds and horrific screams you'd expect from a great monster movie.
Bonus material on the Blu-ray version include deleted scenes and feature commentary. There are also featurettes entitled "Making the Monster," "Transformation: Man to Beast," and "Monster Legacy." We also get the Unrated and R-rated versions of the movie and a digital and Ultraviolet copy.
"Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" will satisfying monster movie lovers who long for the days of Hammer and Universal horror classics. It's not flawless by any means but does a good job of paying respects to those films. Horror fans will find it a nice addition to their home entertainment libraries.
on October 13, 2012
I decided to blindly stream this on Netflix (available as of 10/13/12) and enjoyed it a bit. A young doctor decides to join a group of hunters to stop a menacing creature that has been terrorizing his village. It has some decent moments, including scares and thrills, but doesn't live up to it's potential.
The story is fairly simple, as I previously summarized. So, it's easy to follow which can be seen as a plus. But, the characters were very generic and have been seen a dozen times in other films; the mysterious yet cool hunter, the smooth yet annoying hunter, the strong yet attractive female hunter, etc. The dialogue is also littered with one liners, I did laugh at the story of the horse with wheels for legs, though. Also, I heard several different English accents, which didn't really make sense to me. The gore and action effects were actually really good. But, the werewolves felt out of place and the transformations were a little lackluster and disappointing. Also, it's not the scariest movie, but it does pack some decent jump-out scares and some thrilling action sequences (not enough of them, though.) The werewolf's identity was predictable, but a certain part of the ending was not; regardless, it is also a bit boring and typical.
Overall, the story and characters are generic/often boring and the effects for the most significant part of the film (the werewolves) were bad. It has been done before and better. If you're a fan of werewolves or monster flicks, you may enjoy this film the most.
Werewolf: The Beast Among Us has strong violence and gore. No sex or nudity.
on October 13, 2012
A group of werewolf bounty hunters, led by a man whose parents were killed by a werewolf in the first scene, come to the aid of an Eastern European town plagued by a super werewolf. In the village lives young Daniel (Guy Wilson) a doctor's apprentice who has studied the werewolf. He joins up with the team of experts to hunt the werewolf.
People who are bit by a werewolf and survive are called "wurdaleks," a zombie looking creature. To make the story interesting Nia Peeples is one of the hunters and Daniel has a love interest in Eva (Rachel DiPillo). Like all good werewolf movies, it has a gypsy.
The special effects are not the greatest, but get a passing grade. The smart storyline is the biggest attraction. The characters could have been better developed with better lines to make the film more interesting. Considering what has come out as late in the horror genre, this one is above the pack.
Parental guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. I watched the unrated version, which apparently has more gore.
on October 30, 2012
I'm giving four stars to "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us". I'll give you some semi-spoilers that shouldn't ruin your viewing of it.
The basic plot is that a nameless 19th-century Eastern European village is besieged by a werewolf that A) has the power to kill on any given night, regardless of how full the moon might be and B) seems to be growing stronger. A band of mercenary werewolf hunters arrives to track the monster down, and they are aided by a handsome local doctor's assistant who is in love with a beautiful local rich girl. Actually, there are enough plots in here for 3 movies, but it's not too distracting, and keeps you guessing where it might go.
There is a twist with multiple villains. While it was a nice twist, I think losing the focus may have hurt the movie in the end. The movie gave us one suspect early on, though he turned out to have epilepsy (which caused seizures that other people, including viewers, mistake for werewolf activity). The real werewolf isn't hard to figure out, and you'll have it figured before the movie hands it to you.
If there's a disappointment, it's that in the last 10 minutes of the movie, the werewolf goes from being "the awful murderous monster that we must kill!" to the good guy, the hero. That makes no sense, unless you are willing to write off all the victims as simple peasants that aren't worth worrying about.
Still, overall, it was very good, and it makes more sense than most werewolf movies. The werewolf hunters are equipped with a flamethrower, which is a nice touch, and one of the hunters uses some very cool throwing knives. The cast is solid, lead by very recognizable actors including Stephen Rea, Ed Quinn, Nia Peeples, and Steven Bauer.
It was filmed in Romania, which is exactly where you want to film a werewolf movie, especially one set in an ambiguous 19th-Century-ish past (they use horses and lanterns, but have a flamethrower and a gatling gun?).
There is no nudity in the R-rated version (the one that was on Netflix), if nudity bothers you, but the movie is quite gory in parts. As long as you don't have younger or more squeamish children, it's a good movie to watch for Halloween.
on October 26, 2012
I'm a huge horror movie fan. I am pretty critical when it comes to rating or reviewing new movies that come out. Usually I'm very disappointed in them. The classics still reign in my opinion, but this movie was good enough for me to rate. I enjoyed it and even though I figured out pretty early "who dunit" I would still recommend. I didn't get bored. It's not gory, so it might be too tame for some. Nice storyline.
on June 8, 2014
I thought this was going to be a really great werewolf movie when Ed Quinn and his team of werewolf hunters made their initial appearance. It turned out to be the absolutely worst werewolf film ever made. There's not much in the way of a story, it's too bloody gory for real werewolves, and it has a really silly ending.
There's a gruesome and very realistic scene where body parts are shown scattered on the ground around a wagon after a werewolf attack. That's followed by a scene of townspeople pushing around wooden wheelbarrows filled with mangled body parts. The most grotesque scene is from the inside of a large building showing a bunch of wooden boxes overflowing with bloody body parts. Pretty ridiculous, but at the same time gross and stomach churn sickening.
The sets, scenery, costumes, and photography are absolutely gorgeous. It seems a shame to waste all this production value on such a gory, stupid, and entirely lame story. Almost everyone gets killed off and there's a surprise ending that makes you wonder why you bothered to watch the whole movie (see "Spoiler Alert - Cheesy Ending Revealed" at the end of this review).
The back of the DVD says, "The legendary beast is on the hunt". There is nothing in this film that hints at anything having to do with legends about werewolves. There's just a lot of gratuitous blood and gore in the aftermath of what had obviously been a series of werewolf attacks.
Here's how I rate other werewolf films so you'll have something to gauge this review by:
5 stars - The Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr. - 1941)
4 stars - The Howling (1980)
3 stars - The Wolfman (Benicio Del Toro - 2009)
3 stars - An American Werewolf in London (1981)
3 stars - Silver Bullet (1985)
3 stars - Wolf (Jack Nicholson - 1994)
2 stars - Cry of the Werewolf (1944)
2 stars - Red Riding Hood (2011)
1 star_ - Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010)
1 star_ - Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012)
My opinion is that "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" is such a terrible movie that it can't possibly be ruined by revealing the ending. Even so, please don't read the rest of this review unless you want to know the ending.
*** SPOILER ALERT - CHEESY ENDING REVEALED ***
In this story, Ed Quinn starts out as the hero, but he and his team of werewolf hunters get killed off midway through the movie. Are you ready for the jaw-dropping surprise ending? The werewolf turns out to be a good guy! The story goes on to show what a wonderful and noble creature the werewolf really is, and we all live happily ever after! Maybe I just don't get it, but I don't understand how a werewolf who mangles a bunch of townsfolk turns out to be a wonderful and noble creature. I have a theory why Ed Quinn got killed off so early in the movie. I think that in real life there was so much blood and gore during filming that he got sick to his stomach and left the set before the movie was completed.
on October 10, 2012
"Just so you know that's no ordinary werewolf were dealing with out there." A small village is being terrorized nightly by a savage werewolf. When a hunting party is formed the village hopes that the town will be able to finally rest. One by one the villagers are attacked and turned in to vicious beasts the villagers begin to wonder if it is someone among them causing the problems. I will admit that this was better then I was expecting it to be but this movie is still something that should have been on the scy/fy channel. The film quality and acting are a step above the scy/fy standards but it still has the feel of a movie like that. The best way to describe this is as a slightly more scary version of the Amanda Seyfried "Red Riding Hood", it's almost a direct remake in my opinion. This is a movie that many people may really like, movies like this usually have cult like fans, but for me this was just something I had a hard time getting into. Overall, a scy/fy channel-like version of Seyfried's "Red Riding Hood". Not awful but nothing to rush out and see. I give it a C+.
on November 23, 2013
Wasn't particularly enthusiastic upon hearing of this movie, as it sounded like SyFy Original Movie fodder... just made by Universal to try and revive their old 'Universal Monsters' franchise. Then I watched it, and found myself quite impressed with some of the twists and turns it took with the story of the Werewolf in question. The effects weren't too shabby either. Nothing groundbreaking, but some nice changes to the usual formula.
on October 17, 2012
Here's The Lowedown on "Werewolf: The Beast Among Us" (A Horror/Monster DVD review)...pretty good.
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Genre: 6.5 Movie: 5
What's it about?
Set in a 19th century village, a young man studying under a local doctor joins a team of hunters on the trail of a wolf-like creature.
What did I think?
Not bad for a movie that looks like it was made by the Sci-Fi channel. Not too much of a budget...obviously. But there was a good story and some pretty good acting that made it watchable. I could almost see that as a TV series later on. Go ahead and give it a look...werewolf movies are hard to come by nowadays.
on July 4, 2013
I ordered this off amazon thinking the production looked good and the actors were known to me from other films. After viewing the film, however, i discovered the plot was so weak that my interest quickly waned. It was tough going to make it all the way through, because I simply didn't care about the characters. This is one of those movies you watch, but don't buy.