Is "The Wolfman" A Date Movie?

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the wolfman
The Benicio del Toro werewolf picture may not be perfect for a Valentine's Day escape.

Years ago, it was decided that horror films would be used on dates as a method for physically bringing couples together: i.e., a young lady would become frightened by some dark thing leaping out of the shadows and she'd dutifully seek safety in the neck / shoulder of her date. It worked for decades, until we started making legitimately scary movies. By the time The Shining came out, it was like, "eff that, you hold me." And then horror took a hard left hand turn into torture porn and it's almost impossible to feel close with anyone when you're watching someone being mutilated, particularly their genitals. Read: Blood, Breasts & the Box Office

The Wolfman, directed by Joe Johnson, harks back to a gentler era of horror. A time when a scary monster (perhaps a man wrestling an inner demon), an ominous score and a few frights via surprise were enough to turn a trip to the drive-in into a sure-fire voyage to second base.

In a nutshell, a man (Benicio del Toro) arrives home after hearing of his brother's evisceration at the hands of a beast or maniac (or both, hmm). He attempts to repair a strained relationship with his father (Anthony Hopkins), engages in something approaching romance with his brother's former betrothed (Emily Blunt) and spars with a Scotland Yard detective (Hugo Weaving). Oh, and he eventually becomes a wolfman, tears people to ribbons and battles emotional phantoms.

There are two strikes against this formula: 1) We are not really wired for those kinds of scares. Maybe Scream ruined that, maybe the vampire craze has us empathizing with those that goes bump in the night or maybe real monsters are way more frightening. 2) This film's cast was too good to make a simple, formulaic frightfest. Read: 5 Horror Movies To Watch On A Date

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