Classic Horror Movie Week, Day 3: The Wolf Man

Oct 29 2008

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Watching The Wolf Man was a strange experience for me.

I first saw The Wolf Man in bits and pieces when I was in my early teens. I really enjoyed the tense mood and varied characters. I was in a phase of my life when I was watching a lot of black-and-white films, so I appreciated that type of movie: simple, direct, and reasonably well-acted.

Upon re-watching it this week…it doesn’t hold up. While it is simple, direct, and reasonably well-acted, the plot itself just drags in places. It’s a great example of pacing problems. The story’s fine; the editing and pacing just aren’t tight enough.

It does play successfully off that perfectly horrible fear of loss of control. The protagonist can feel his sanity slipping away, almost as soon as he contracts lycanthropy. He’s constantly haunted by it. He’s a decent man, and tries to be reasonable, but he knows what he’s doing. And how can a person stop himself?

Unfortunately, the plot mires itself in side stories which distract from his path towards the beast, rather than highlight or enhance it. As sweet and poignant as the love story is at times, it slows the movie down, and does little to bolster it.

But it does feature some solid performances and genuinely creepy moments. Worth watching.

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