|DVD Le poil de la bête
Run time: 100 min
Genres: Adventure | Horror
Director: Philippe Gagnon
Writers: Stéphane J. Bureau, Pierre Daudelin
Stars: Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, Viviane Audet, Gilles Renaud
Takes place in 1665 in New France at a time when a part of Canada was colonialized by France. Joseph Côté escapes from a prison in order to avoid death by hanging. Moreover, while some colonial soldiers are chasing him, Joseph takes the identity of a Jesuit and hides in the seigneury of Beaufort where most men are waiting for “daughters of the king.” (French women who were sent to Canada in order to find a husband.) At night, Joseph finds out that there are werewolves that terrorize the village. Besides, things get complicated when he falls in love with Marie Labotte, a “daughter of the king” that no one wants to marry. All in all, by simply trying to protect his life and Marie’s, Joseph will end up fighting against the werewolves. Written by Anh Khoi Do
|Plot Keywords: king, prison escape, 17th century, werewolf|
Release Date: 1 October 2010 (Canada)
Budget: CAD 4,500,000 (estimated)
I've been a horror fan since childhood, and werewolves movies are so few so when a new title is out there, I try to watch it as soon as possible. But what a disappointment with this one. At the first ten minutes I realized that this wasn't a real horror movie, well, horror comedy is OK when you got the right tone, but here we got a mix of too much elements; comedy, suspense, fairy tale, horror?, folklore, and a very long etc. The problem is the mix, this movie goes nowhere, it doesn't have identity and the cocktail finally is way too tasteless. Not to mention the werewolves CGI that looks like play station 1. Well, at least it doesn't bore you, a few laughs over here and there, but I'll be waiting for a new "real" wolf man movie.
Joseph Côté is your typical "courreur des bois" (or wood runner), a scallywag who lives outside the boundaries of the law, the church, and social rules. We are introduced to him as he is about to get executed for innumerable petty crimes. Joseph escapes and manages to disguise himself by donning the garb of a dead Jesuit priest found in a ditch. Unknowingly, he has usurped the identity of Père Brindamour, a famous werewolf slayer. As he arrives in a village with the original intent of simply getting food and rest, he starts realizing that he's not the only visitor in the area as a werewolf kills one of his new acquaintances. People quickly look up to him, the unfortunate impostor, to rid the area of the beast (or beasts!).
Believe it or not, I've quite enjoyed this movie over the remake of the Wolfman (2010). Sure, the effects are not as good (the werewolf will sometimes look like it's stuck in a cross-over between a video-game and a movie- but is still quite effective in any scene where he isn't seen in harsh light). This movie had at least one good jump scene that got most of the audience scream in surprise. And most of all, it's another wonderful blend of humor and horror put together.
Those familiar with French-Canadian lore will notice the filmmakers tried to stay away from the religious explanation for the werewolf being (tradition has it that if someone hasn't gone to mass in 7 years, he becomes a werewolf), but they also did a nice job of steering away from the traditional Hollywood explanation too (though you might raise an eyebrow…)
The acting is good, the atmosphere is creepy, the jokes work- the jumps as well. It's obviously not Oscar material, but it's still a fun romp in a new genre of movie never seen in Quebec before, a period-piece horror film. All in all, this movie should make it in the top ten of anybody's favourite werewolf movies.
This movie wants to be as diversified as possible but it takes too many bits and parts of almost every style. Some historical and folklore influences here, some spooky horror movie inspirations over there, a little bit of the Quebecker's typical comedy style in here, some little pieces of a classical adventure movie without forgetting some fantasy or fairy tale allusions brought to us in a tale teller's style, another bit of suspense, then a bit of a classical romance or love story… In the beginning, you could really get confused with all these influences. I really asked myself in the first thirty minutes: what's this movie? A comedy movie? An adventure movie? A semi-historical movie? A horror movie? Well, the movie takes bits and parts of everything but it isn't really into some style for real. We have a big identity problem here and this potpourri of styles isn't really good for the dynamic and tension of the film. But at least, it makes this movie somehow unpredictable and kind of unique. I think this is really the first serious werewolf movie that has ever been done in Quebec and it doesn't copy the usual Hollywood clichés or the classical pioneer stories. The movie has its own identity and it is sympathetic.
This "unstraight" movie isn't a bad one at all. The movie shows us many breathtaking landscapes. The movie presents many interesting historical personalities, cities and behaviours. The actors are all doing at least a very solid job and many famous Quebeckers play in this movie once again. The twists and the script are not that surprising or shocking but at least funny and somehow original.
If you want to see a movie with a quite huge variety of styles, a unique atmosphere and the typical solid and charming Quebecker style of filming and acting, you will at least get a very entertaining and somehow original movie. If you are looking for an intense werewolf movie or horror film, you will probably not get what you are waiting for. This movie is not very twisted or profound, but it is clear from the beginning on that the actors and directors don't take themselves that serious. You will get at least a very entertaining and charming movie but not a masterpiece about which you will think about for a long while. The movie is worth to be seen once but it is not worth buying the upcoming DVD in the future.
This is not really a horror movie. If you are watching this because you are into frightening suspense horror with tons of blood and gore and mythology, than this is probably not for you.
The werewolves could have easily been replaced with some non super natural cause, e.g. a real wolf or serial killers. That's not a bad thing, because this movie is not a mythology driven horror shocker, but more of a character driven road movie following an escaped criminal, who hides on some farm far out. And then the killing starts…
What made me like this movie, it was never boring and the characters actually did somewhat plausibly things for people in rural Quebec in 1665. And did not do cliché "stupid" things, people in "real" horror movies do.
The few special effects where better B-Movie quality and you should see this movie as a very good B-Movie.
My favorite line in the movie is about this (saw the German version)
Nun (to girls, werewolf is about to attack): Pray! Pray!
One of the girls: No! Grab something and throw yourselves on him!