Earlier today Werewolf News reader Rob sent me a link to the official trailer for “Wolves”. I’ve watched it three times now, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
On one hand the hoariest clichés of the genre are on full parade here. 10 seconds into the first viewing, I was already thinking “MTV’s Teen Wolf with more blood and no Stiles”. But on the other hand, I am an admirer of well-executed craft in virtually any form, and try as I might, I can’t see anything sloppy about the execution here.
Are there CG transformations and gore? Yes. A conventionally hunky antagonist with very careful hair? Yep. A cartoonish brute of an antagonist? You know it, complete with top hat and wrist bracers from the “bad guy” wardrobe truck. But in the case of “Wolves”, I think the worst criticisms any of these things warrant is that they’ve been done before, or that we’re not the target audience for a given plotline or actor. Neither of those are cardinal sins, especially not when a show like “Bitten” can commit the same infractions for 10 times the duration of a feature film while having one-tenth the fun doing it.
To me, that fun is the key. Much of “Wolves” looks fun, and where it doesn’t, I think I’ll be content to tune out. When I factor in the presences of Jason Momoa (who looks like he’s having a great time as Connor) and Stephen McHattie (who I’ve always got time for), the punchy sound design (that roar at the end is fucking awesome), the creative and well-executed werewolf makeup (again, hair notwithstanding), and the fact that we’ve all been starving for another werewolf movie and here one is, “Wolves” looks like something I would consume. Consume, and enjoy. It’s a cookie: not particularly nourishing, but tasty nevertheless, and I’ll happily own up to being fickle (sorry, “Bitten”) if it means I can enjoy the chocolate chips and not care too much about the flavourless dough holding it all together.
And now, to make up for writing almost 400 words about a movie trailer, here are some screen-grabs of the various werewolf makeups on display in the trailer. Not what I would have designed (again, that hair, especially that poor lady-wolf’s stripes), but I still dig it.