Features and Columns · Movies

Is ‘The Wolfman’ Remake Really As Bad As Everyone Says?

Aoooooooo, werewolves of hum-drum.
By  · Published on May 8th, 2023

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores where the 2010 remake of The Wolfman went wrong.

I’ll cut to the chase: yes. Yes, it is.

Are there worse offenders out there when it comes to werewolf movies and cinematic Wolfmen? Absolutely. Far more egregious werewolf crimes have been committed. Looking at you, 1987’s Teen Wolf Too starring Jason Bateman.

And yet while it’s far from the most punishable offender, The Wolfman has managed to remain in the conversation for a number of reasons. First, there’s the novelty of noted journeyman director Joe Johnston attempting to make something genuinely gnarly and expressionistic. Then there’s the fact that the film slots in neatly alongside a slew of 2010s visually dark creature features with explicit and implied ties to the Universal Monster cannon. Likewise, as long as the hilarious dream of the Dark Universe survives, so too will the cultural relevancy of The Wolfman.

The video essay below does a heroic job of unpacking exactly where Johnston’s remake missed the mark, both on its own terms and as a remake of the 1941 classic. It also generously notes what does work, highlighting Danny Elfman’s fantastic score for shouldering much of the film’s emotional burden.

So, climb aboard, and get your scalpels out. And let’s dissect this bad boy.

Watch “Where did THE WOLFMAN remake go wrong?”

Who made this?

This video on The Wolfman is by Ryan Hollinger, a Northern Irish video essayist who specializes in horror films. Hollinger’s analysis usually takes the shape of a personal retrospective. Indulging in a healthy dose of nostalgia, Hollinger’s videos are contagiously endearing, entertaining, and informative. You can also check out Hollinger’s podcast, The Carryout, on SoundCloud here. And you can subscribe to Hollinger’s YouTube account here.

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Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.