The October Fear Fest rolls on with one of the Universal monsters, The Wolf Man. The original film starring Lon Chaney in his iconic role of Larry Talbot,a man who returned to his home only to be attacked and bitten by a werewolf.
The story is simple and works well because of it. There is not an attempt to make this more than what it is. Larry is bitten (by Bela Legosi of all people) and, slowly begins to believe the legend being told him by the gypsies in the area.
There are some interesting ideas here, in particular how the mind can cause people to believe anything, including that they are being turned into a wolf. This is a little more literal than just a mind trip, but the idea is solid.
The look of the Wolf Man is pretty good considering it is 1941. The film keeps the use of the Wolf to a limited amount, wisely preventing the need for too much overuse.
“Even a man who is pure of heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright.”
This is repeated several times throughout the movie and works very well to help create the mood of the film. It also is well constructed in ways of mood.
The Wolf Man is an excellent film that introduces an iconic monster to the world. It is a lot of fun.