Action / Adventure, All Reviews, Canada, Fantasy, France, Horror

Brotherhood of the Wolf

The setting: France in the 18th century. The problem: a powerful beast is decimating local villages, killing cattle and villagers with no discrimination for either. The solution: Two military attachés sent by the King to seek out and kill the Beast; one who is more than capable in hand-to-hand combat, the other who has advanced forensic skills.

“Brotherhood of the Wolf” is a breath of fresh air. It garnered praise upon its initial release, and rightly so, for successfully merging several different genres of film into one cohesive story. “Brotherhood” is a suspenseful, spiritual, angsty, bawdy, horror flick that just happens to have a French-speaking Indian who knows kung-fu. Now, honestly, what could be more original than that?  The cinematography is stunning, and all the performances are top-notch.

I strongly recommend (as I always do) that you take the chance and view it with subtitles. Subtitles are one-step removed from the original dialogue, while dubbing is actually twice-removed (the dubbed script is written from the translation, and then manipulated further in an attempt to match mouth-movements). Not only does dubbing sometimes alter the script, it always alters the original actor’s performance.

If you’re open to something creative and different, check it out.

Pros: Stays original and true to itself while still recalling some old-school horror goodness (“An American Werewolf In London” comes to mind). Gorgeous cinematography.
Cons: Too many people will be put off by subtitles and pass on a film all horror fans should view at least once.
Review Rating: 4 out of 5 lupine drool-covered internal organs.

Brotherhood of the Wolf” (2001)
Also known as: “Le Pacte des Loups”
142 Minutes (152 Minute Director’s cut also available); France / Canada
Rated R for strong violence and gore, and sexuality/nudity.

Starring:
Samuel Le Bihan (Grégoire de Fronsac)
Vincent Cassel (Jean-François de Morangias)
Émilie Dequenne (Marianne de Morangias)
Monica Bellucci (Sylvia)
Jérémie Renier (Thomas d’Apcher)
Mark Dacascos (Mani)

Directed by: Christophe Gans
Written by: Stéphane Cabel and Christophe Gans
Viewing Format: DVD

About John Daily

John is a freelance writer, columnist and critic. His work has appeared in print, as well as on sites such as ScifiWatch and HorrorWatch (where he wrote under the complete meaningless moniker “Bloody Taco”). An archive of his film-related material is available at cinemaspin.wordpress.com. Currently, he can be found spouting his special brand of sarcastic nonsense at CigarHell.com or Twitter (JohnNDaily).

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