Reviewer: Charity Bishop
Werewolves are a part of life in the remote European village where young Daniel (Guy Wilson) is apprenticed to the town doctor (Stephen Rea). Each morning brings in a slew of dead bodies and patients in need of attention. Those marked by a bite are killed, lest they turn into monsters themselves. But something is different about this beast... the moon holds no influence over it, for it terrorizes the woods even as the full moon wanes. The unusual beast brings to town a group of hunters, led by a charismatic leader (Ed Quinn). He's been hunting werewolves for years, since one murdered his parents, but never met anything quite like this.
Though preparing for acceptance into medical school, Daniel feels it is only right that he should defend his town and asks to be taken on. This threatens his relationship with the lovely but alienated Eva (Rachel DiPillo), who lives with her paranoid, slightly deranged father. Her love for Daniel is threatened by the romantic attentions of one of the hunters, Stefan (Adam Croasdell). And when suspicion is cast around town on who the werewolf might be, truths will come to the forefront none of them are prepared to deal with, changing all their lives forever.
Over the years I've become something of a fan of "monster movies." Werewolves is a popular topic, and Hammer has been bringing them to us for sixty plus years. This is the latest in their offering. I never expect much from direct-to-video sequels but it's a decent take on the genre. It has all the elements of a great story and does a reasonably good job of bringing it to the screen, even if it is somewhat limited by its scope. The characterization is good, even though you never find out half their names! Those in the town come and go, but each is memorable for their distinct features... the town sheriff with something wrong with him, the lovely girl living behind a wrought iron gate, even the hunters that wander through town have something to offer.
The acting wavers from wonderful (some of the hunters) to tolerable (some of the main cast members) and it has decent production values for a B-grade thriller -- certainly better than anything on the SyFy channel. The costuming is a lot of fun, blending Victorian fashion with some period-accurate modernizations. The approach is also unique in that no one has to terms with the realization that such creatures as werewolves (and later on, a vampire) exist. The beasts are simply a part of life and locals do what they can to avoid them. The action scenes are fun to watch but trend on the gory side (the carnage is worse than the actual combat). The world was created in such a way that it made me want to continue on in the ongoing adventures with this strange band of misfits. Occasional humor intrudes and you can see the twist coming, but it's still fun to watch play out.
Partial nudity on corpses (a nipple shot in frame, what looks like blurry, background bare breasts). A woman is forcibly kissed by a man.
Uses of "bastard," six uses of GD.
Two graphic decapitations; lots of blood; severed corpses and body parts laying around (entrails, arms, feet, legs); disemboweling of corpses, mostly off-screen; people are shot and killed.