Skip to main content

Wer




2013
Directed By William Brent Bell
Starring AJ Cook, Sebastian RochΓ©, and Vik Sahay |

How do you breath life into a character that has been on screen over 100 times? Considering that werewolf films date back to 1935 and we've had roughly 119 different werewolf films in that 79 year period it would seem nearly impossible to have a new take on the material. Well, Bell has done that with his film Wer. He has taken incredibly worn over source material and flipped it on its fuzzy head. So, how did he do this? He made it a procedural.

The film follows a young defense attorney (Cook) who is defending a man (Roche) accused of a double murder. At first it appears the family may have been killed by a large unknown animal but as the case continues it becomes clear that there is far more to this case. This being a werewolf film we all have an idea of where this might be heading but the approach to the material is so fresh that you are hesitant to think of it in conventional terms.

Its fine if you want to make a werewolf movie but when doing so try to keep in mind that its not Macbeth. Take your material seriously and try to ground it as much as movie about moon influenced shape shifter can be grounded. While the film is mostly played straight it never feels overly earnest or self important. The scares in this film are built on a slow intimidation or threat of impending violence. Its more atmosphere and tension than jump scares. This film in no way attempts to be a character study but it certainly puts its characters first.

Wer doesn't feel contrived or false and that says a great deal for a werewolf movie. I've never had a great deal of affection for the genre because they generally limit the stories to either tortured soul films making the monster the victim or explorations of sexuality. Exceptions being An American Werewolf in London, Brotherhood of the Wolf and Dog Soldiers. While this film touches on both elements of sexuality and isolation they are not what this film is about.

Its always nice when a filmmaker shows us there is still life in a seemingly dead story or genre. Don't go in expecting a complete reinvention of horror films as you know them but rather a simple but effective melding of two genres.



Full disclosure:
 I haven't seen Le poil de la bete but I've heard great things and look forward to checking that off my need to watch list.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack?

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


LAFF review A CROOKED SOMEBODY

2107
Directed By: Trevor White
Starring: Rich Sommer, Clifton Collins Jr., Joanne Froggatt, Amanda Crew, Ed Harris
Producers: Jason Potash, Paul Finkel, Tim White, Wayne L. Rogers Sales: CAA
Ambition is a powerful drug that can inspire positive change. It can force you outside of the comfortable boxes you place yourself in. It asks you to stretch and reimagine not only the person you are but the person you could be. Most great men and women have a deep relationship with what they see as their purpose. This is a personality trait never driven by or limited to the pragmatic and there in lies the problem. Logic be damned, when a sense of determination is your north star. 
Michael Vaughn (Sommer) is an ambitious psychic on the road promoting a book that no one is buying. Using parlor tricks and audience plants Vaughn helps people "connect" with loved ones who have passed on. Somewhere in between a traveling preacher and a low-rent John Edwards he sees himself as a man destined …

SONG OF SOLOMON Review

Exorcism films do not begin and end with William Friedkin's THE EXORCIST. With entries as varied as BEETLEJUICE, CONSTANTINE, and THE RITE, the exorcism sub-genre of horror films is far more diverse than many immediately recognize.  

With THE SONG OF SOLOMON director Stephen Brio has added a unique take on the possession movie. In his film, the Catholic church attempts to save the soul of Mary (Jessica Cameron) who appears to have been possessed after witnessing her father's brutal suicide.

Mary is off camera while her father takes his own life. In a scene that could play as a confessional or an accusation, the family's patriarch lists off the reasons why he is being forced to use his knife on Mary and himself. He details how they were a good, loving family and he can't understand why she is accusing him of abuse. Using demonic control as a metaphor for trauma survival is something so natural, I can't believe it's not woven into every film of this kind.

Jessic…