British folk horror, dominic brunt, james fleet, joel ferrari, lycanthrope, pete wild, Werewolf, Werewolf movies
There is enough talent in front of the screen in what is essentially a labour of love mixed with pangs of nostalgia over Britain’s celluloid history of lycanthrope horror. There is a healthy mix of nods to Hammer Films and the Gothic films produced under their banner and the Peter Cushing style veteran performing yet another battle against evil to satiate the hounds of the genre past. The most notable homage comes in arguably the greatest werewolf feature, An American Werewolf In London, with numerous quotes and references throughout the movie.
Set in a quirky village town where a film crew has set up in an abandoned house to shoot a vampire flick, Wolf Manor takes a turn when they decide to hang back one more night to do some extensive reshoots. It just so happens that the night in question should fall on a full moon and with it the awakening of a lycanthrope appears to disembowel them one by one.
While the creative team of Director, Dominic Brunt, and writers Joel Ferrari and Pete Wild have a deep passion for the field in which they paint their narrative, it is evident that it lacks the killer punch that made these pioneer movies so great. There are moments where they try to ignite that instinctive attraction through the British wit upon which the nation has produced some comedy gold, but no matter how hard the talented James Fleet taps into that humour, it is often served cold and the tumbleweeds drift by with ease.
Despite the obvious tweaky script and gaps in depth of character, Wolf Manor does boast some nice special effects; a combination of prosthetics, make up and visual effects weaving together and grounding the supernatural elements.
I had high hopes before watching this, such is my love of the doomed lusus naturae, but it falls foul of trying to live up to and replicating werewolf features of yester-year rather than creating an identity of its own. Sometimes, you have to break free of rigidity for creativity to be unleashed. Unfortunately it took its inspiration literally, staying on the road and keeping clear of the moors. Just imagine what could have happened if it dared to stray into the wilderness.
- Saul Muerte