There are two things I appreciate right out of the gate in regards to director Joe Johnston's remake of The Wolfman. One, I'm a sucker for gothic horror, so I'm open-minded to pretty much any period piece monster movie. Two, it's been many moons since we've seen a mainstream horror film starring actual adults and not the usual central casting assortment of reality TV-quality teenyboppers. For those two things, kudos. Maybe it's that little bit of goodwill that kept me from hating The Wolfman outright. It's the kind of relentlessly-paced junk that moves so fast and looks so cool that you barely have any time to process how empty it all is before the end credits roll. It truly is a modern spin on a classic, in almost all of the worst ways.
Benicio Del Toro, as American stage actor Lawrence Talbot, returns to his ancestral estate of Blackmoor upon hearing of the death of his brother, Ben, at the hands of some kind of giant beast. Talbot strikes an almost immediate connection with his late brother's fiancee, Gwen (Emily Blunt), but clashes with his weirdo father (Anthony Hopkins) in the wake of his brother's death, re-opening long-buried childhood wounds concerning his mother's apparent suicide. It's immediately clear from the moment Hopkins appears on screen that he's hiding something -- something dark and not-so-mysterious -- and it's the most significant new element in screenwriters Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self's reworking of the 1941 classic Universal film. The Ben Talbot murder also attracts the attention of London's Inspector Abberline (Hugo Weaving, having more fun than anyone else in the film) who travels to the countryside to find out for himself if there's a lunatic on the moor or a creature far more sinister.