First, there was Scream. Kevin Williamson’s brand of self-aware, pop culture savvy teens quickly found itself replicated or intimidated to varying effect. Suddenly posters featuring brooding, pursed-mouthed pretty people stared at passers-by while a splash graphic of an obscured slasher figure filled the background. It’s the sort of trend that got tiresome within a few years as it became apparent the resurgence of slasher films couldn’t hold a candle to Scream’s fun and complexity.

Unlike the vampire and zombie genres of the new millennium the werewolf film hasn’t had an entry that stands as a true genre revolutionary since, arguably, An American Werewolf in London. There’s no Let the Right One In or 28 Days Later for the werewolf. Instead the character seems to appear in one of three persistent forms, as genre window dressing in an already fantastic atmosphere populated with vampires, as an antagonist with a hidden identity, or as a sort of amateur detective resembling a grimmer Peter Parker.

Jim Isaac began his career in film the same way that many horror filmmakers do, by working in the world of effects. Like Robert Kurtzman and Chris Walas (with whom Isaac would later work on “The Fly”), other effects gurus who made the move up to director, Jim Isaac began as a creature technician in films such as “Return of the Jedi” and “Gremlins”.

The werewolf taps into those ever constant horror themes that can easily work in many given contexts: bodily control, the uncanny combination of human and inhuman forms, instinctual nature and astrological influences, fear of the “other” and abject within ourselves, infection and spread of disease, etc. Like any of the long-standing horror mythologies that have made their way into cinema the exemplary werewolf stories utilize this literal transformation of person into wolf for dual means.

Cory Monteith in Hybrid (2007)

Along with topics like boobs and gore and clever one-liners, horror cinema also probes other subjects with the same aplomb. Subjects like the moral repercussions of transhumanist science, the blurring of the line between man and God and the depredations of the white military industrial complex upon the natural world. Both of these themes resonate deeply in the 2007 Canadian made-for-TV movie “Hybrid,” albeit without the same level of care and thought that went into this year's “Splice,” which is clearly a film strongly influenced by “Hybrid.”

Zombies have been getting their full share of attention lately and now with the release of “The Wolf Man” looming, werefolk are going to get their fair shake too. In the soon to be released “The Werewolf’s Guide to Life,” Ritch Duncan & Bob Powers describe ways for the recently bitten lycanthrope to cope with their new found way of life. The manual provides guidance on: what to do if you have attacked someone, how to build a restraint room, dating and sex advice, and how to avoid detection.