Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Remake of the 1941 classic starring Lon Chaney has Benicio Del Toro filling in the lead as a famous actor who returns to his ancestral home in the English countryside to help solve the mystery of his brother’s disappearance. Sadly, his brother’s dead body has already turned up by the time he gets there, leaving him to reconnect with his grizzly father (Anthony Hopkins), his beautiful almost-sister-in-law (Emily Blunt) and face the demons of his mother’s death. Inconveniently, more dead bodies start to show up in the neighbourhood that lead to the belief that there is a monster on the loose. When Del Toro gets bitten by the creature in question, however, he soon becomes the problem, and there’s no limit to the amount of mayhem he causes on a full moon. Anaemically plotted and awkward in its conclusion, Joe Johnston’s plagued production (which endured endless reshoots and delays before finally being released well behind schedule) is surprisingly entertaining but muddled: it can never decide if it wants to be an equal, update or spoof of the original, most likely because more than one set of hands got access to its final edit. Don’t come expecting anything as rich as Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Sleepy Hollow, but the plot zips by with bouncy vigour and the production design and musical score are gorgeous. Blunt continues to prove what an astounding performer she is, giving a sexy performance that will make even the tamest man howl.
Cinematography by Shelly Johnson.
Music by Danny Elfman.
Production Design by Rick Heinrichs.
Costume Design by Milena Canonero.