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Wer (2013)

  Tags: Brian J. O'Connor, FilmDistrict, found footage, Incentive Filmed Entertainment, Matthew Peterman, Prototype, Sierra/Affinity, Simon Quarterman, Vik Sahay, Wer, werewolf, William Brent Bell

Your rating: None Average: 7.8 (12 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

WER_final.jpeg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
William Brent Bell
Runtime: 
89 minutes
Cast: 
A.J. Cook, Brian J. O'Connor, Simon Quarterman, Vik Sahay


As much as I love the werewolf sub-genre, there just aren't that many good films. Even werewolves in general haven't had the best of luck in recent efforts, appearing as oversized dogs in the HBO series True Blood or the terrible Twilight franchise. At least they were decent in the Underworld movies (when they weren't duel wielding guns or created with poor CG). One of the many positive things I found in Wer are its little use of CG and its incredibly basic werewolf design. It's just sad that the film's distributor is simply dumping it on DVD, because it's one of the best werewolf flicks I've seen in years.

The movie starts out in the found footage format as we witness a family record themselves getting mauled to death by an unknown assailant. From that point we follow various brief news reports of the attack and how their prime suspect is a very large and hairy local named Talan Gwynek. With their man in custody, a defense attorney is called in to handle the case along with a couple associates, one of them being a beast expert to help determine if their deaths were actually caused by Talan or some wild animal in the woods.

For a good half of the film we just follow the defense attorney and her crew try to prove Talan's innocence and the movie plays out as kind of an interesting investigative mystery. Was it a random creature in the woods? An actual werewolf? is this Talan guy the werewolf? These are things we learn about as it goes on; getting most of our answers as we pass the halfway mark.

Although the movie begins as found footage, that's also where it ends, because it's shot to look FF and amateurish in order to give it a more realistic vibe, but not actually be a found footage film. The fact that it's shot to look that way may bother some people, but I personally liked it, especially since we don't have to deal with stupid excuses for characters to leave the camera on (something I hate when dealing with FF movies) and it works to build tension at later parts of the pic.

It's clear that the filmmakers aimed for a werewolf film that's grounded in some sort of realism, like for instance using real diseases and actual science to explain certain aspects. Even the look of the werewolf itself didn't shy too far from its regular humanoid form, but still managed to be pretty damn creepy at the same time. When you combine the gritty handheld aspect of how it's filmed along with the interesting semi-realistic script then we have ourselves a pretty solid and fairly creative werewolf flick.

In the underused and often problematic werewolf sub-genre, Wer definitely stands out. With its successful use of realism in the script and its gritty handheld style, the movie proves that there's still life in the genre and has me rooting for a sequel. Fans should definitely give this a look, as I found it to be one of the better additions to the genre in years.

Posted on August 23, 2014 - 2:51pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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