Sunday, October 8, 2017

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF (2001) movie review

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) d. Gans, Christophe (France) (3rd viewing) 152 min

Being that I’m currently performing in a stage production (The Man-Beast at First Folio) that addresses the same story, it was a no-brainer that I should revisit this unbelievably stylish, superbly produced period epic thriller. Springboarding from co-writer Stephane Cabel’s original scenario, Gans (who would go on to helm the big screen adaptation of Silent Hill five years later) serves up an incredible visual feast depicting the real-life period in history during which the 18th-century French province of Gevaudan was being terrorized by an enormous, bloodthirsty beast.

Equal parts adventure tale, bodice-ripping romance, costume drama, social message, action flick (sporting some wicked Matrix-like martial arts sequences) and monster movie, there is something here for everyone, handsomely mounted and exquisitely acted by a horror-dabbling cast that includes the likes of Samuel Le Bihan (Frontieres), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Monica Bellucci (Irreversible), Emilie Dequenne (The Pack), Phillipe Nahon (High Tension), Hawaiian actor Mark Decascos (as a Native American who knows his way about a flying spin-kick) and a cameo from Francois Hadji-Lazaro, famous to Italian horror fans as “Gnaghi” from Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man).

The carnivorous CGI creature isn’t quite as impressive to the modern eye, but it still does the trick and earns major points for its original design and concept. (The opening sequence’s homage to Jaws is also a treat.) And while the events that play out onscreen are probably not how it all went down, the legend of the Beast of Gevaudan is a fascinating story in its own right.

With plentiful gore, clever plotting, and the occasional flash of flesh (both male and female), this is a marvelous and intelligent effort that deserves the attention of horror fans everywhere.

Hautement recommandé.


No comments:

Post a Comment