For those of you coming her thinking you were about to discover some secret Game of Thrones spinoff you never knew existed...sorry--Wildling is not the continuation nor prequel of the shenanigans of the free folk North of the wall. It is however a not-your-typical werewolf fairytale that's probably not going to help the little ones get to sleep at night, but will satisfy the genre fan that enjoys a taste of coming-of-age drama with their indie horror. 

The Universal Monsters have a long history on TV and movies. Comic books, however, are an often overlooked medium the creatues populated. In the next few weeks we will be looking at the comic book appearances of the famous film monsters of yesteryear including The Mummy, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, Frankenstein, and Dracula. First up is Lawrence Talbot, AKA The Wolf Man.

Let me set the scene for you. A hirsute man-child strolls into his local multiplex to check out the latest installment in a franchise about werewolves and vampires. Sounds pretty great, huh? What’s that you ask? Yes, that’s right. He’s never seen any other Underworld movie other than what’s been on FX in the background. Won’t this diminish his enjoyment of the impending whirlwind of leather, fur, blood spurts, and runny egg style Shakespeare? Absolutely not.

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.

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.