Somewhere in the jungle of Cameroon, a man shoots and wounds a wild beast after the creature kills most of his hunting party, including his brother.
Several years later, the mans nephew, Derek, is trying to get in with a local fraternity and invites two of it’s members, their girlfriends and his best friend Sam, to his abusive step-father’s cabin for the weekend. While there, the group encounters a walking, talking werewolf who starts to knock them off one-by-one. Derek and Sam manage to escape with their lives and vow to confirm the identity of the werewolf and kill him.
Big Bad Wolf is different than a lot of other werewolf movies. In most movie adaptations the wolf is just a mindless beast driven to kill because of some unholy curse. But this one is just an a$$hole. He’s not just some animal driven by instinct or trying to defend his secret. Oh no, this one can talk and his snippy one-liners make you perfectly aware that he is not only fully cognizant of what he’s doing, but he’s enjoying the terror, rape and murder he’s committing. Clearly this is the result of what happens when you go and curse people all willy-nilly. You risk giving douchebags superhuman power and turn them into super douchebags… who are a pain in the ass to kill.
All of this would be fine and dandy for a horror film except for the aforementioned ‘snippy one-liners’ that the writers insisted on adding to the wolfs dialogue. This turns the film into less of The Howling or even Ginger Snaps and more into Leprechaun. It’s made all the more puzzling because the wolf’s human incarnation does not speak like that at all. In human form he’s a strict, threatening ass, but I guess once he transforms he feels confident enough to try out that comedy routine he’s been secretly practicing in the shower all these years.
Wolf: Little pigs, let me come in.
Sam: Fu*& you.
Wolf: …That’s not very nice.
He’s not funny and unoriginal. Aren’t those, like, two cardinal sins of comedy?
The change in tone is so drastic that it almost feels like there are two separate movies going on, as the tone of the film seems to change as the villain does. Human=Serious. Wolf=Nursery Rhyme Jokes. Depending on your preferences you’ll either find this extremely odd or hilarious.
The acting in this movie is hit or miss. The adults are pretty serviceable as many of them have long acting careers, but the kids… Oi. With the exception of Sam (played by Kimberly J. Brown) all of their performances come off as either stilted or forced, like they’re just trying to spit the lines out so they could go home. This includes lead Derek. I suppose it doesn’t matter though, as just about every kid who’s there, with the exception of Derek and Sam, are there just for the sake of being doggy chew toys anyway. *shrugs*
I applaud the film for trying to go in a different direction with the whole werewolf thing, but its inconsistent tone is a strike against it. Add in the poor acting, lack of mystery, why-did-they-even-show-him-transforming level CGI, unnecessary teen angst and wholly unlikable characters and you have a recipe for a movie with a very specific target audience. If you like Leprechaun and wish it had had more wolf action, than feel free to have a go. Just don’t go in expecting Werewolf in London.
Big Bad Wolf is available on several streaming services.
It is also available on DVD.