Just as you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, try not to judge a movie by its pre-credits sequence. I was actually groaning aloud while witnessing the bad acting on display as soon as this movie opened. And things looked like they were about to get a hell of a lot worse with a sub-Showgirls moment of unerotic, sexual writhing. Then a werewolf appeared and some blood was thrown around . . . . and my interest was piqued once again.
Moving on from that, Bad Moon introduces the viewer to Janet (Mariel Hemmingway), her son Brett (Mason Gamble aka the boy who was Dennis on screen) and their loyal dog, Thor. Into this small unit comes Janet's brother Ted (Michael Pare), the man involved in the opening unerotic, sexual writhing and werewolf carnage. Thor doesn't really like Ted and it's not too long until everyone, apart from those on screen, knows exactly where the animosity springs from.
Director Eric Red is not a bad guy. He's provided those who saw it with the brilliance of Cohen & Tate and he also wrote The Hitcher, a long-time favourite of mine. But here, perhaps because he's adapting from the source novel named "Thor" by Wayne Smith, he feels a little boxed in and restrained. Seeing the title of the source material on screen certainly prepares the viewer for the focus of the movie as the brave family dog goes about the business of trying to keep loved ones safe. The film plays out like some Joe Dante-infused blend of Cat's Eye, Fluke and Silver Bullet which hinders it initially but then makes for a snappy, and highly enjoyable, second half.
Acting aside, as it's frankly not worth mentioning anyway, we can judge this first and foremost as a creature feature. In that respect, does it deliver something worth seeing? I'd have to say that it does. Mixing practical make-up, camera trickery and some nice little tricks and cheats here and there, the main beastie is both handsome (in a beastly way) and ferocious. It may not be up there with the best that this particular subgenre has to offer but it's no pathetic piñata either.
So, in summation, the movie overcomes many faults to be something enjoyable and worthy of inclusion in anyone's nostalgic list of movies they inexplicably enjoy. Thanks to the creature design and one solid performance from the canine lead it's a surprisingly sweet-centred horror movie that, strangely enough, perhaps could have used a little less blood on screen to gain some broader appeal (and I never thought I would use THAT sentence in my reviews).
One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and endangering all he holds most dear, the family dog, Thor, is the last hope for his family's survival... and the end to his Werewolf curse.
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July 24, 2016 at 5:44 PM