20th Sep2014

‘Werewolf Rising’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Melissa Carnell, Brian Berry, Matt Copko, Taylor Horneman, Danielle Lozeau, Irena Murphy, Bill Oberst Jr. | Written and Directed by BC Furtney


There werewolf is one of the monsters that seems to be building in popularity right now, especially with Hemlock Grove and Teen Wolf gaining fans in the teen market.  In movies there are plenty of classics to pick your favourite from, mine would be American Werewolf in London.  With films like Dog Soldiers and now WolfCop, the werewolf is back to being fun.  Now with the release of low-budget Werewolf Rising, is this another win for fans of the lycanthropic ones?

When Emma (Melissa Carnell) returns to her country home after spending years in the big city she soon catches the unwanted attention of old family friend Wayne Dobbs (Brian Berry) and his nephew Johnny Lee (Matt Copko).  When Johnny Lee is attacked by a wolf it’s not long before Emma is put in danger through her helping him.  With the wolves prowling at her door she soon finds herself not only in a fight for her life, but for her very soul.

Werewolf Rising is a low-budget movie and while sometimes the acting isn’t the best and the werewolf makeup definitely leaves much to be desired this should not be held against it.  The fact is even with a low-budget Werewolf Rising has a plot that doesn’t just stick with the werewolf theme but also pulls in elements of alcoholism and the negative effect that it has on people’s lives, thankfully not in a preachy way though.  Making Emma an alcoholic successfully off the bottle there is tension between her and Wayne who obviously has a drinking problem of his own but feels he has control over it.  The truth is that he’s a drunk with a stalkerish obsession with Emma.

With the theme of alcoholism actually working good in Werewolf Rising it’s interesting that there is that will she/won’t she question about drinking, and what trouble it can get her into.  The fact that nothing good comes from the drinking in the film is an interesting message, especially when she is doing so well keeping away from it, especially with the werewolves on the prowl. To be positive about the wolfy side of things though, once Bill Oberst Jr. makes his presence known he really pulls the supernatural side of things together and gives it some impact.  Even when not in werewolf form his body language is very animalistic, he relishes the newfound powers he has and fully buys into the life of the wolf.  Probably the most interesting character it does feel like the movie needs more Oberst Jr.

Werewolf Rising is a movie that tends to pull you in by doing exactly what you expect, then throw a curve-ball into the plot to wake you up, especially at the end which just gets crazy.  Even though there are certain plot holes that could annoy some, the film does retain a level of fun and that is what is important.  With a running time that feels just a little short but at the same time doesn’t overstay its welcome it doesn’t get boring and with an ending that leaves you wondering what the hell just happened, it has its own unique style.  Yes, Werewolf Rising falls into some of the traps that low budget films do tend to have, but just in terms of being a strange little b-movie that tries to entertain it actually ends up being worth a watch.

***½  3.5/5

Werewolf Rising is available on DVD from September 22nd.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek


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