Hey y’all, I have a little word of advice…if you are a recovering alcoholic who is suffering from nightmares and strange visions, the best place to go is prob not a cabin in the woods. With no cell reception. Alone. Unfortunately, no one gave this advice to Emma, who decided that was a great idea. And, as you may have guessed by the title, a werewolf is lurking in those woods. A very weird-looking werewolf, but a werewolf nonetheless. Throw in a creepy ex-con neighbor who Emma is astoundingly drawn to and a pervy family friend from Emma’s childhood and you’ve got yourself a forest full of predators, none of whom are scary.
Werewolf Rising is not greater than the sum of its less-than-stellar parts. I’m kind of confused as to why they ripped off The Shining for the title sequence/opening credits. Like, 100% undeniably ripped it off – I can’t even call it an homage, because it was just straight-up exactly the same, with so little change. I get it, isolation and all that shit, but still. But the most egregious crime in this film? There is no badass transformation scene! C’mon man! Killin’ me over here. That is always by far the best part of a werewolf movie! Also, the werewolf looks like a vampire bat. I’m all for practical effects over digital, for sure, but this was just not working for me. Oye.
There is some very weird sexualization going on in this film. The opening scene has a rather unnecessary element of sexual violence in it; there is gratuitous and completely unnecessary nudity at the end.
Forgive me for getting a little annoying here, but I think there is a huge problem in both the hypersexualization of violence towards women and the increasingly obligatory incorporation of female nudity in the horror genre so whenever I see those things, I get a little bristled. I know this is not the time nor the place to preach about this, but I have to include it because it’s something that bothers me. If either of those things are integral to the story, absolutely, no problem—I am fine with nearly anything as long as it is important. But when you just randomly include a naked chick in a scene that doesn’t really merit it? It’s a thing that just needs to stop. It’s a crutch that limping films seem to constantly use. It’s lazy, staid, and boring.
On the up side, I will give Werewolf Rising credit for being a werewolf movie when there seems to be a bit of a lull in the creature feature department at the moment. I wanted to like it so badly. It makes me so sad that I didn’t. There is nothing terribly, irredeemably wrong with Werewolf Rising, but that’s kind of the problem. Great films (or books, or paintings, or any work of art, really) tend to be really polarizing, so when nothing is identifiably remarkable, it’s an issue. Werewolf Rising is forgettable. It didn’t hold my interest really at all. I hate to say that about any sort of indie or low-budget film, because it takes so much heart, courage, and effort to make a smaller film; it kills me to piss on someone’s painstakingly crafted parade. But I am sorry to say that this one just wasn’t a win for me. It was okay, but that’s it. Just okay.
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WEREWOLF RISING (2014): Review…Not Quite There
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