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.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99