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Review of Werewolf of London

(1935) Stuart Walker Director
Starring Henry Hull, Warner Oland, and Valerie Hobson

While on a botanical expedition to Tibet, Dr. Wilfred Glendon is attacked by a strange animal. Returning to London he discovers that he is now afflicted with Lycanthrophobia. The only cure is the blossoms of the rare orchid he brought back with him. Can he make the flower bloom before the curse causes him to kill his wife?

The film has fairly decent acting and storytelling for its time. Hull is capable as the distracted and cursed Dr. Glendon. Warner Oland who was making a living playing Charlie Chan, serves well as Dr. Yugami. One nitpick about the film is that the characters are not afflicted with lycanthropy but rather lycanthrophobia. The writers should have realized that lycanthrophobia is fear of wolves.

This movie holds an interesting place in the history of movie monsters. For starters it is a Universal film but it’s werewolf is not part of the Universal Monsters pantheon. However, the makeup for this movie does hold a connection to Universal’s Wolf Man. Jack P. Pierce created the Wolf Man make up for actor Henry Hull. After doing screen tests Hull complained that the application process was too time consuming and Pierce redesigned the look of the creature. When asked to do the make up for The Wolf Man, Pierce used the appliances he had created for this film to turn Lon Chaney Jr. into the monster.

If you are a fan of older horror movies then this film is a good movie to curl up with on a dark and stormy night.

Werewolf of London is available on netflix and in pieces at YouTube

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Review of Trolljegeren (Trollhunter)

(2010) André Øvredal Director

Starring Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johannah Mørk, and Tomas Alf Larsen

I will start by saying I am not a fan of “found film” horror movies and horror “documentaries”. My opinion of The Blair Witch Project was that the characters would have accidentally killed themselves tying there shoes. I found Paranormal Activity equally disappointing. AThat being said I didn’t go into Trollhunter with high hopes. Oh the joy of being surprised.

The film tells the story of a group of university students who set out to find a suspected bear poacher and come upon a much more interesting story. What they discover and what the Norwegian government is trying to hide is that trolls are real.
Yes, yes, anyone who’s spent anytime on the internet already knows this but I am not talking about those trolls. I’m talking about the kinds of trolls that live under bridges. The kind that steal and eat sheep. The kind that can smell the blood of a Christian man.

In all honesty the film is less scary than it is an examination of one man’s job. Otto Jesperson plays Hans the Trollhunter. He is a man who is tired of the secrecy, the cover ups, and the lies. To that end he agrees to allow the film crew to follow him as he tries to discover why the trolls have left their hunting grounds.

The film fortunately does not suffer from the two banes of the found film genre; shaky cameras and lens flare. In fact the camera work paints a beautiful picture of the Norwegian countryside. The actors are believable in their roles of college students. The government employee who Hans reports to is excellently played as well. His reluctance to explain why the people can’t be told about the existence of trolls comes across as a genuine character trait rather than poor writing.

If you want to see a good movie and don’t mind subtitles (and if you do I don’t fucking care because dubbing foreign movies into English is a horrid practice and should be outlawed) then catch Trollhunter.

This film is currently available on netflix. Get used to me saying that because I’m trying to clear my queue.

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