Director: Louis Morneau | 90 minutes | horror, thriller | Actors: Nia Peeples, Ed Quinn, Stephen Rea, Steven Bauer, Rachel DiPillo, Ana Ularu, Guy Wilson, Adam Croasdell, Emil Hostina, Zoltan Butuc, Iulia Carstea, Stefan Iancu, Ioan Ionescu, Razvan Gheorghiu, Radu Iacoban, Deliu Ionut
Did you secretly enjoy “Van Helsing”? It was a terribly kitschy, meaningless blockbuster that was as adrift as it was enjoyable. Leading actor Hugh Jackman was clearly having a good time and managed to take the polished Hollywood horror to a higher level thanks to his charisma. Fans of this kind of over-the-top pulp can indulge themselves, because “Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” is kind of a clone. Although with a less generous budget and without charismatic protagonists, but still…
In the 19th century, werewolves swarmed in European cities. Hordes of mercenaries offered their services to destroy the monsters. But are they able to cope with an intelligent werewolf who commits his murders with purpose – and not out of boundless bloodlust? The villagers suspect each other of being a werewolf and that leads to paranoid scenes.
Louis Morneau is at the helm of this B-fest. This director is best known for budgetary sequels (read: sequels that want to take a piece of unexpected hits. Think of “The Hitcher II” and “Joyride 2”). The cast also consists of inexpensive mercenaries. The name Steven Bauer appears prominently on the movie poster, but this man – best known for his role as Manny in “Scarface” – is behind a thick layer of make-up and only plays a supporting role. Stephen Rea is also presented as an attraction, but also has to do with a small part. Lesser gods like Ed Quinn and Guy Wilson have to pull the cart. The acting is not very good, but that suits this film made for the video market.
“Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” looks cheap. The werewolf comes from an outdated computer and looks rather fake. Murders are portrayed via jerky cameras (so you don’t actually see anything except for a few flashes of mutilated meat) and the gore comes from mutilated mannequins (which then look nice and rancid). This is Pulp with a capital P and it is quite tasty at the time. Morneau realizes all too well that he has little budget and has to do without strong actors. The pulp atmosphere is entertaining and the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. Obviously, there is a pointless romance to this movie and some crazy plot twists that don’t make sense. A confrontation with a werewolf looks pretty nice at times. Unfortunately, this scene – which takes place in a ruin – is too short to really last.
The fun atmosphere, the cruel acting performances and the moderately animated monster are very infectious. If you don’t expect anything from it, you will be pleasantly surprised by this disposable video. Like Van Helsing, this attempt to put the werewolf back on the map as a “cool” movie monster has been hopelessly unsuccessful. What remains is an empty spectacle that tries so hard to be hip that it becomes funny. “Werewolf: The Beast Among Us” has to do without the boyish charm of Jackman, but makes up for it with a pack of forgotten stars in bizarre supporting roles. A swearing Rea and Bauer are reason enough to watch this crazy B-movie.