Main cast: Ed Quinn (Charles), Guy Wilson (Daniel), Stephen Rea (Doc), Rachel Katherine DiPillo (Eva), Adam Croasdell (Stefan), Ana Ularu (Kazia), Florin Piersic Jr (Fang), Steven Bauer (Hyde), Radu Iacoban (Constable Orban), and Nia Peeples (Vadoma)
Director: Louis Morneau
Now, let’s try to figure out Werewolf: The Beast Among Us. Look at the poster art – it looks badass. Of course, when I was down with a bad case of sinusitis, I didn’t really have much choice on what to watch as the ward only had a few channels on the TV, and this is one of the shows that showed up when the other channels had either some silly game show and old boring Hong Kong soap operas. Still, badass poster, and a badass first fifteen minutes or so.
We begin with a young Charles seeing his family get massacred by a werewolf. Okay, the father is an idiot because he takes a gun and, in order to get to the werewolf, blows holes in the roof and walls that make the whole structure far easier for that creature to get inside. Still, a dead family and a child as an only survivor always make for a compelling beginning for a badass hero. Indeed, the grown-up Charles may sport an anachronistic American accent (Ed Quinn isn’t even trying) in a sea of Eastern European accents, but he has a cool gunslinger thing going on so… awesome. He has a team of fellow werewolf hunters with him now – Stefan the suave charmer who throws knives all over the place, Kazia who likes to use a blowtorch as well as guns, Hyde who has an eyepatch and shoots things, while Fang dons a pair of sharp dentures to bite things when he’s not punching and beating things.
The whole gang comes to a town upon hearing that the folks there are plagued by a werewolf that somehow transforms into wolf form despite there no longer being a full moon. It turns out that the claims are true, and so the gang gets down to business.
Also in town is a pasty, whiny kid named Daniel. He is the apprentice to the town doctor named, er, Doc, and he is smitten with the town rich girl Eva, whose father detests Daniel. The lad tries to join Charles’s gang, as he claims that this is his neighborhood, and he can help Charles by pointing out the locales and showing them around. Also, he has read many books, so he has a decent amount of werewolf lore to share too. Despite Stefan’s objections, Charles takes a shine to him and lets him help, although Daniel is soon frustrated by how that man deliberately keeps him from joining the gang for fun stuff like actually stalking the werewolf because it’s too dangerous. Oh, and Stefan begins making a move on Eva…
Now, there is a fun, entertaining action-packed monster movie that can be made from the premise here, but something terrible happened during the making of this movie. You see, someone decided that it would be better to toss out the whole “gang of slayers versus a wily werewolf” thing, push aside Charles and his gang, and the focus the movie instead on Daniel and Eva! It’s like someone decided long after much of the movie had been made that it’d be more lucrative to have a Twilight-style young adult movie instead, and the movie is then butchered to an incoherent degree during post-production.
The problem here is that Daniel is the most boring chalk-tinged turd of the all the characters here. No, wait, he’s the second most boring one – Eva is the most boring one. See? The movie focuses on two bland, lifeless cardboard cutouts at the expense of the more interesting characters. Daniel is set up as this special, preordained kind of hero when all I see is a whiny brat constantly flailing around because people think of him as a kid, but he never earns the accolades thrown onto him. The worst insult is how Charles and the rest are deliberately made to be incompetent and clueless just to lift Daniel’s character when nobody cares about this windbag. But he’s much better than Eva, who has no discernible personality or believable reactions to anything and everything. That character is so poorly written that the actress playing her soon looks like she has no idea what she is doing anymore.
And then there is the weird editing. For example, Daniel sneaks to see Eva, who tells him to go wait for her in some ruin instead. Oh yes, Eva looks to wander alone into dark and deserted places when there is a werewolf killing people in town. Anyway, when these two meet, they kiss, and then Eva tells him that she needs to go. What has happened? Did they cut out some sweaty, adolescent groping in the dark? Otherwise, it makes no sense for her to meet him somewhere only to then immediately tell him that she needs to go back home! It’s the same with many other scenes in this movie – things seem to have been abruptly cut to render these scenes meaningless. Another example is how Daniel’s idiot mother will scream for him, and when he reaches her, she will scream at him to run away. Oh my god – why even do that, unless that idiot woman just wants attention?
Oh, and don’t worry if you momentarily forget Daniel’s name. Two-thirds of Eva’s lines as well as Vadoma’s see these two ladies just keep calling or screaming his name over and over.
On the bright side, Ed Quinn is fun to watch, although this movie tries very hard to want me to forget that he exists by the midway point of this movie. Stephen Rea must have been blackmailed or something to be in this movie, but he sportingly tries to make the most out of his hideously underutilized character. The MVP is Adam Croasdell, though, as Mr Ignis Scientia camps it as if he’s the only guy having fun here. But Stefan is also inconsistently written – one moment he’s BFF with Charles, next moment he’s chomping to defy that man.
At any rate, Werewolf: The Beast Among Us could have been a fun movie if it had kept its initial focus on Charles and his gang. I don’t know what happened, but deciding to Twilight up the movie is the worst wound it inflicts on itself. Who cares about Daniel and Eva when we have badass werewolf slayers in town? Was this movie financed by the parents of the actors playing those two? And then they use Charles and friends on the movie poster while keeping the images and the names of the actors playing Daniel and Eva off the publicity material. Do these people even know what they are doing?
At any rate, this movie is a biggest waste of opportunity, and a part of me is incensed because what could have been would have been so, so fun to watch.