There’s a lot to like about The Wolfman. The performances are pretty solid, even in spite of some very strange ‘English’ accents. The Make-up work by Rick Baker is astonishing, blending seamlessly with the computer generated transition sequences, while also demonstrating why the new technology will never be able to replace practical effects. There are also some wonderful scenes that recall the very best of ‘old-school’ horror, without becoming camp or seeming out of place.

Unfortunately all of this great work is undermined by a severe pacing issue.

The film tries desperately to be a traditional horror, complete with elaborate sets, startling audio cues and some truly unsettling moments, but it simply doesn’t succeed. Each and every scene feels too short for the genre. The film races along, removing any chance of building a rapport with its anti-hero, while also rapidly puncturing any sense of tension or foreboding that it manages to create.

The best horror films build slowly, giving the characters time to grow, and the audience time to become sympathetic towards them. The Wolfman doesn’t. In this respect, it feels much more like an action movie than a horror. Indeed, the film’s final set-piece abandons any remaining notion of it not being an action pic, in favour of pure stupidity and cliché.

In many ways The Wolfman is reminiscent of Ang Lee’s Hulk. As well as sharing some elements of that movie’s story, it also has the misfortune of having a collection of rather unsympathetic principal players. In contrast to Lee’s film however, which at least attempted to have us rooting for its monster, Wolfman sets up Del Torro’s alter ego as a savage beast, with no sense of remorse or control. There are hints that the character could have more depth, but there is simply no way of redeeming him within the ninety-eight minute running time.

Despite all of these flaws, The Wolfman is still a fun and enjoyable film, and well worth a watch. It’s a pretty safe bet, however, that the extended cut will be far superior.