Red: Werewolf Hunter

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This film only came to my attention recently and is the of the most recent one I’ve watched. Since you can’t get much more of a classic monster than werewolves it seem like a logical enough reason to start with them. Werewolves to start with is one of my least favorite movie monsters. They are often just portrayed as mindless killers, which is fine. After all its their stick right? All the way back to The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney Jr. back in 1941. But Chaneys character Larry Talbot hates his condition referring to it by what it is, a curse (at least in the films sequels). For me this werewolves done right.

This film misses that mark for me. The villains come off as bland never really developing beyond bad because… well because. The film makes reference that there aren’t supposed to be many left having been hunted so heavily by the protagonist Virginia Sullivan (played by Felicia Day). So their motive is not wanting to become extinct? That I could accept nut that never really addressed.  They only time we see the villain Gabriel (played by Steven McHattie) he seems to being doing these things for no real reason. The character and his motives are never really fleshed out leaving me underwhelmed during the climatic battle at the end. Even the characters just reminded me that the actor played a character with the same name in Beauty and the Beast the 1987 television soap opera. If this was an intended move by the writers or director I don’t know.

Most of the film focus is on Virginias character trying to save her fiance maybe her boyfriend? Who gets bitten when she takes him home to meet the family. The fiance Nathan Kessler (played by Kavan Smith) takes all of this in stride and works to break the curse before its to late. Virginia never really has to do much work to convince her brothers and her grandmother from not killing him. They all kind of just go with it really missing a chance for great character development. Sure her family whines about it a lot but for werewolf hunters none of them really ever try to solve the problem the way we’re led to believe they should.

The only other gripe I have is all of the werewolves are CGI and they don’t even keep their own mythos straight. Silver to heart is stated to be the only way to kill a werewolf but later a gut shot kills one just the same. Werewolves burst into flame when they die and this is seen to be a very fast occurrence then that ignored then picked back up then ignored again. CGI I can forgive its the way film is going which is sad. I find particle effects are almost always superior.

But as this is a made for TV production I can overlook ALL these flaws. The actors all do a decent enough job with the script they were given. I found both the brothers very likable, the story keeps up a brisk pace.  There isn’t much chemistry between Virginia and Nathan. I think that it just colors the ending in a more enjoyable light. Over all I have to say that this movie is barely ok. No American Werewolf in London but it’s also not as bad as the later Howling films. Overall this is a movie for established fans of the genre or fans of Felicia Day.

Final Opinion… 6/10. A good way to kill 88 min but not worth watching more then once.

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