Directed by BC Furtney
Written by BC Furtney
Starring Brian Berry, Melissa Carnell,
Matt Copko and Bill Oberst Jr
"Desperate for a break from big city life, Emma heads to her family’s cabin deep in the Arkansas hills. Settling in for some much-needed R&R, she learns that something unspeakable lurks in the surrounding darkness. As the full moon rises, a bloodthirsty werewolf emerges from the shadows, slaughtering everyone in its path and revealing a sinister underworld Emma never knew existed. Thrown into a fight for her life, and her very soul, Emma will need to escape these big bad woods before it’s too late. ~ IMDB
Sounds pretty promising right?? That's what I thought too, but unfortunately the film described and the film I saw dont share a whole lot in common. Werewolf Rising is a film that for me fell a litttle a flat, it just didnt feel complete. The film seemed to lack conviction in its storytelling, with little to pull you, emotionally, into the world of the characters making for a veiwing expierence that just felt a bit uninspired despite better than average portrayals by the actors.
The film isnt awful but its not great either, leaving it falling somewhere in the great divide, so let me break down some of what didnt work and some of what did work for me...
First let me say you have to be pretty brave as a small budget film maker to take on a werewolf as your creature. Its not a particulary easy creature to interupt with a big budget let alone try to perfect with a limited one, and lets be honest we fans have high expectations when dealing with one of our classic creature characters, the interpretation can literally make or break a film. In Werewolff Rising I was a bit thrown by the creature, who seemed to visually read way more like a furry walking bat than wolf to me, so that was a big strike for me.
There were also some continuity issues which I usually dont have too much of a problem looking past, however one had me horribley distracted for several minutes. A wound sustained and its eventual bandageing, just bugged me to no end, the bandage placement was completely wrong, and I found myself trying to find a good reason why the placement would be so far off from the wound, needless to say this was another thing that just pulled me out of the whole suspension of belief. Then theres the sound... The dialoge and soundtrack seem to compete rather than compliment, with the soundtrack often overtaking the dialog making it hard to hear the actors and again adding another level of difficulty in following the story.
On the positive side of things Werewolf Rising has better than expected performances put forth by the main players. Melissa and Matt have a nice, albeit somewhat confusing, on screen chemistry that is fun to watch. I found myself smirking when they were together in scenes. Bill Oberst Jr, as always, is just fantastic. He brings a fullness to his character that is hard not to get caught up in for the few moments here and there that he is on screen, with mannerisms, and idiosincracies that make you wish he was in more of the film. There were also a few moments that were emotionally horrific to me as a woman and resonated with belivabilty, and they made me feel for the character of Emma, unfortunately they just didnt go far enough in development to truly invest me in her.
Werewolf Rising is a film that will leave the hardcore fans feeling a little less than excited but may very well find itself an audience with people who like to keep there scares a little less shocking. If you are looking for a film that may be suitable for younger horror fans or something that you can watch with the family this is a title worth considering, and personally I have as of yet to find a film with Bill Oberst Jr in that isnt worth a watch!