Thursday, 29 January 2015

Wolves (2014)

I first heard of Wolves when someone described it as being like Twilight, but with the focus on werewolves instead. For some reason, I knew that I had to check it out. Thankfully, it's a better film than Twilight.

Cayden Richards (Lucas Till) is a young man who starts to develop a bad habit. When his primal urges, such as anger or lust, increase then so does his body hair and his propensity for violence. It all goes a step too far, to put it mildly, when he attacks his girlfriend during a makeout session, and then kills his parents in the night. Hitting the road, and trying to evade the authorities, Cayden ends up in a small town that is full of many of his kind. One takes quite a liking to him (Angelina, played by Merritt Patterson) and one really doesn't (Connor, played by Jason Momoa). Despite trying to keep his head down, and settling into the job/lodgings offered to him by a kindly man named John (Stephen McHattie), it's not long until his arrival in town leads to all kinds of trouble.

Written and directed by David Hayter, this is a real mixed bag of dubious delights. The effects work, for example, is often very good, but one or two of the lead characters look a bit too cute and cuddly when in wolf form (including Cayden, of course). The plotting is entirely predictable, some of the dialogue will make you wince, and the main romance is tedious to get through, for a viewer like myself (who put those teenage angst years in the past a long time ago, thank goodness). But the pacing is zippy, there's a decent amount of action, with a decent amount of blood sprayed around, and the cast features some fun performances.

While Till may not be a very strong lead, he does well enough in his role. The fact that he manages to be quiet and burdened with guilt without being constantly mopey and irritating is a big plus. Patterson isn't too bad in her role, and she's certainly attractive enough to make the central plot point believable. McHattie is often a pleasure to watch onscreen, as is the case here, and Momoa gets to scowl and arch an eyebrow in almost every scene. He's a fun baddie, with his formidable size and intimidating demeanour.

Although Wolves struggles to break out from the confines dictated to it by the target demographic, it has a few pleasant surprises in store for those expecting a sappy and sanitised piece of dross. Horror fans will always have other films to prioritise above it, but this isn't too bad for something that could have been laughably atrocious.


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