Well we are back and this time I am tackling a random title via werewolf movie that I have never heard of and that sound perfectly safe. After all, Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws certainly wasn't a vast disappointment...when it ended. Thankfully I recognize a few actors of this film so already I am feeling a bit better. Will this be an episodic primal level that was the original The Howling and An American Werewolf in London, or will I get something of The Howling II: Striba Bitch? This is Animals.
|Geez, Buffy is drunk again. Just run a tab. I'll pay it later.|
We open with a narrative of animality vs humanity bringing us right to our opening credits. A quick pace perhaps but we'll just have to see. Our story focuses mostly on Jarrett (Marc Blucas of Summer Catch, We Were Soldiers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, First Daughter, After Sex, Knight and Day, Necessary Roughness and Blue Bloods) who peaked in his high school football days, now spends his time working a crappy job busting rock at a concrete plant, getting hammered at the bar his buddy runs. Jarrett's football days ended when he got injured against the Eagles and he had no further plans in life. This particular night the fish aren't really biting when through the door walks in Nora (Nicki Aycox of Providence, Jeepers Creepers II, Ed, Over There, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead, Supernatural and The Employer) with a sultry look, a devil may care attitude and screams trouble.
|Is that Oil of Olay?|
Our little Nora apparently likes a good hunt as seen prior with these Girls Gone Wild schmucks conning her in Reno to get busy on camera. Let's just say the unedited footage might not be for any viewers that weren't heading for torture porn in the first place. That's not really Nora's problem though. Her biggest problem is her on again, off again mad as a box of cats boyfriend Vic (Naveen Andrews of Lost, The Ten Commandments, Planet Terror, Sinbad, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and Sense8). Vic is brutal, vicious and quite possibly exudes more pheromones than most males. Understandable when (SPOILER) he happens to be a lycanthrope. Nora has attempted to leave him many times but he always ends up tracking her down and cutting a bloody swathe while doing it. Nora saunters in the bar and you already get the vibe she is on the prowl. Maybe for a meal and some company or maybe to embrace the beast within. Jarrett notices her but doesn't register that she would want him for anything aside from lugging firewood.
Taking the goof back they get a bit freaky when she bites Jarrett and then the real fun begins. What's interesting about this movie its the pace and tension does not sway, giving life to humanity struggling to keep that ever-lurking beast at bay. I am expecting Dark Wolf all over again, jiggly girls and really bad CGI but instead of that, we get a surprisingly suspenseful thriller with hints of passion and intelligently written. Will Jarrett be able to fight off his new urges and handle Vic or will Vic slaughter everyone Jarret holds dear?
Not gonna lie here, there are problems with the movie. First 30 minutes feels a bit off and establishing characters is not a big priority aside from Vic bad and Jarret good fella. Not a huge fan of this weird CGI fish eye lens as the predator POV shot but that was their spin on it instead the cliche red lens on the camera. These blues and greens were an odd choice. That being said, Andrews steals the show as Vic and Blucas stuns me with his range of emotions in this film, I honestly thought he was just going to deliver dialogue with a stoic expression on his face, courtesy of the Keanu Reeves Range of Emotion School but he really impressed the hell out of me. Yes guys, there is gore. The red runs enough to feed a colony of vampires and yes there is some nudity so you are starved there either. It's clever and brings a different light on werewolves which I haven't seen successfully done in a while.