Set during the 19th century, a small village is constantly under attack by werewolves, something that they have grown quite accustomed to as a community. In fact, it’s so common that they even have a system for getting rid of those who become infected after a werewolf attack, which is to shoot them in the head and incinerate their corpse. The villagers seem to have everything under control, that is until a ferocious new breed of werewolf begins attacking the villagers, forcing the locals to hire a group of professional werewolf hunters to take out this vicious beast.
This group of badass hunters are led by a man named Charles (Ed Quinn), who trepidatiously allows one of the village locals, a young doctor’s assistant named Daniel (Guy Wilson), to join the hunt. This isn’t the most popular decision with the other hunters due to Daniel having no hunting experience; however, Daniel seems to be quite knowledgeable about this particular breed of werewolf and can add a little brain to their brawn. From there they set out to put a stop to the beast, though the challenge may be greater than they had initially anticipated.
Directed by Louis Morneau, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us kicks things off with some pretty solid werewolf action, which was certainly quite welcome. Better yet, the werewolf showcased is a traditional two-legged creature, with a stature similar to that of the werewolves in films like The Howling or Dog Soldiers, which is definitely my preferred style of werewolf. Unfortunately, however, at the end of this sequence things are painfully marred with some very weak CGI, which is unfortunately a preview of things to come.
Werewolf: The Beast Among Us has a grossly unbalanced mixture of decent practical effects and awful CGI, which seem to get worse and worse as the film moves along. Furthermore, there are some major pacing issues that cause the movie to drag for long periods of time. And even when the action hits it’s tough to get over that CGI. I will say that, outside of the underwhelming special effects, the action scenes aren’t all that bad; nothing incredibly special, but good enough to keep the film from completely sinking.
There are a few interesting ideas strewn throughout the somewhat boring story, most of which have to do with the mythology that comes with the werewolves. The film also features some nice looking costuming and a gorgeous setting, which is not at all a surprise as the film is primarily shot in Romania. Unfortunately, however, the location is never really utilized to its potential as there is no real atmosphere to speak of, which is really a shame considering the location is as atmospheric as it gets.
It’s nice seeing Universal once again playing in the classic monster playpen, but it’s just too bad that the best thing they could come up with is Werewolf: The Beast Among Us. With an awesome setting, a sufficient cast and a few appealing story ideas, the film had plenty of tools to be an atmosphere laden, Gothic werewolf tale, instead of monster mash of horrific CGI and inconsistent pacing.