Never Cry Werewolf
R1 - America - Genius Products
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (18th October 2008).
The Film

I wanted to start this review by asking where Kevin Sorbo’s career went, but it’s fairly obvious it’s always been around the level of made-for-TV movies. It may just be that as I get older, I realize that the former “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” (1995-1999) star was perfect for the B-movie styled series and all his roles following bank off of his cult success. Unfortunately, none of these have had the minds of Sam Raimi or Rob Tapert backing them, which could be an easy explanation why Sorbo is mired in terrible films movies like the recent “Never Cry Wolf” (2008).

The film follows 16 year old high school girl Loren (Nina Dobrev) who has a sneaking suspicion that her new neighbor Jared (Peter Stebbings) is evil. Sure he may live alone with his dog, hang out with her younger brother a good amount of the time and pull up to her school on a motorcycle to flirt with her, but what 30-something bachelor doesn’t? Even after a set of odd attacks, no-one else suspects that there’s a problem with Jared, except for Loren. After a little research, online and through her telescope looking in to Jared’s house, Loren realizes that her neighbor is, in fact, a werewolf and his pet dog is his demon familiar. Soon Jared’s identity is revealed and Loren must team up with TV hunting show star Redd Tucker (Kevin Sorbo) to stop the neighbor/beast before it takes her for his mate.

The most blatant and glaring issue is the terrible acting. Dobrev and Stebbings play out routine roles and tend to over or under act their parts, depending on the circumstance. Even Sorbo makes me wince, I can usually forgive his terrible roles, yet “Never Cry Werewolf” has brought up a deep childhood pain by crushing the enjoyment I had from watching the cheesy “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” There isn’t much material to work from either as the script by David Benullo scrapes the bare ideas of horror, with the werewolf monster out to kill, with a tiny bit of “Rear Window” (1954) voyeurism (the press release credits this premise to “Disturbia” (2007) even though there’s a plagiarism lawsuit pending for stealing the ideas without crediting “Rear Window” or the short story it was based upon). Of course none of these ideas play out, it’s all reduced to “Werewolf? Watch guy, is he werewolf? Yes, werewolf. Kill werewolf.”

Visually the film is really terrible to watch as well, the directing by Brenton Spencer is really uninspired and the visual effects are about up to snuff with what you expect out of the Sci-Fi channel’s made-for-TV catalogue. The mask for the werewolf actually looks okay, but you never really get to see it other than a few glimpses and there are so many terrible man-in-suit moments that it’s painful. There’s about as much violence as you can get away with on TV, with some absurdly cheesy effects like an eyeball stew, but nothing all that interesting.

Unfortunately, the underlying bad qualities of “Never Cry Werewolf” never get to the point of being fun or enjoyable in any way. It’s simply a case of a bad movie that tries to take ideas that are circulating in pop culture and churn them out quickly hoping for the best with terrible results.

Video

The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation doesn’t look very good either. Most noticeably there’s some serious grain issues that pop up for occasional shots, either meaning they lit the scenes so poorly to begin with that they overly-re-graded them in post production, or they just didn’t care and left it to go to the transfer.

Audio

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds incredibly flat. The music used in the film sounds like imitation pop rock, made by artists that are on budget for the film, and that doesn’t help the already mediocre sound quality. Other than that the sound is okay, for the most part the levels are fine with a few pops.
There are no optional subtitles available on this disc.

Extras

No real special features, there’s only a theatrical trailer for “Never Cry Werewolf” which runs for 1 minute and 27 seconds.

There’s also four start-up bonus trailers as well:

- “Anamorph” runs for 1 minute 32 seconds.
- “How to Rob a Bank” runs for 1 minute 23 seconds.
- “Something Beneath” runs for 1 minute 31 seconds.
- “The Hive” runs for 1 minute 59 seconds.

Overall

The Film: F Video: D Audio: C Extras: F Overall: D-

 


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