Wednesday, October 28, 2015

31 Days of Halloween 2015: Wer

2013, William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) -- download

More werewolves!

Back when Marmy and I were getting to know each other, she mentioned a vampire interest. It was the Anne Rice era, so I bought her some books. Lots of books. In contrast, I mentioned my love of werewolves and she got me a copy of The Werewolf of Paris. I loved it. But this is how memory works; I was convinced it was a fictionalized account of the Beast of Gevaudan, an historical account of a large wolf in south-central France, that killed many people. Alas, no, no connection at all. Memory can be funny that way, as I now have no recollection of how I even know about this beast.

Wer is about a rather bestial looking man charged with the horridly brutal deaths of some campers, including their young son. The camping area happens to be near Gevaudan, which made me chuckle. AJ Cook (from Criminal Minds) is the American working as a defender in France and takes on this case; her focus is human rights issues, cases where it's likely her client will be taken advantage of. Talan suffers from a form of porphyria, which until now I knew only to be the vampire's disease, responsible for his abnormal hair growth and enlarged bone growth. Even without the accusations, Talan is a monster, over 6 feet with massive hands and a bestial look.

Of course, he is the monster.

The movie really picks up once it dispenses with the pseudo science misdirection and pseudo found footage. He doesn't so much as wolf out, but grow a little larger, a little hairier and immensely stronger. On France national TV he tosses about SWAT cops (hmm, I need to Google the French version) smashing them like so much rag dolls. AJ is no longer seeking to protect him but feels responsible for letting it get this far, including the fact her ex was scratched and is showing signs of the same infection. OK, a little pseudo science is left.

I never expect werewolf movies to be good, but if they have something I can sink my teeth into -- get it get it -- then I am happy. The depiction of Talan (talon! get it get it) is wonderful, a truly wolfish man with the strength of a bear. The brief scenes where his bones crack and reform as he expands are well done, subtle, without any skin pulling and shredding.

The movie ends with a cliffhanger, or at the very least, a hint of an opening to a sequel. There is a market for these movies in Europe, in Uwe Boll proves anything, and it was decently done instead of his horrendous productions.