“The Crimson Manor”, an old abandoned mansion, is the perfect location for shooting a vampire film. However, the vibe among the crew is less than pleasing. Disagreements and the pressure arising from filming issues are coming from multiple directions. The filming schedule is now officially overdue, and everyone working on the film project is exhausted, overworked and ready to go home. However, one thing the crew would never expect is what occurs when a full moon arises in the night skies. Now, during the night, while the motion picture is attempting to be completed, a giant werewolf lurks around the mansion, brutally murdering crew members one by one. Will there be any survivors, and more importantly, will the film ever get completed?
Wolf Manor is best described as a horror film with a wacky comedic tone mixed in. At first, the film doesn’t seem to rely on a main character, but it’s evident that one character who’s given a generous amount of screen time is Oliver (James Fleet), the lead actor in the horror film currently being made. We learn that Oliver has had plenty of acting experience and is now playing a vampire for the seventh time. He often brags about his acting abilities and skills as a performer and is overconfident in all areas, especially his acting skills and the fact that he is a lady’s man despite his old age. Oliver is challenging to work with as he enjoys complaining and has a bad drinking habit whenever he’s not acting in a scene. He is quite a ridiculous character and is continually used here for attempted laughs, which sometimes land, and at other times it’s a big miss. One example that does work well is when Oliver first sees a wolf outside the manor, but his fellow crew all doubt him due to his sneaky drinking habits. Another gag I felt worked wonderfully is how each crew member has been working with each other for a long time making a film, but none of them can ever seem to remember each other’s name.
The horror aspect is gratifying here. Sure, viewers will know quickly that the wolf is just an actor in a costume, but it’s pretty impressive visually. Plus, the film has plenty of gore and horrific kills and violence. Wolf Manor has been made to have fun and feels loose and random. While the comedy has moments, I’m confident it will be hit-and-miss for most viewers. The strongest comedy moments are when Wolf Manor refers to filmmaking. It seems as if the film is making fun of itself, which is enjoyable to see. The actors, cast and crew creating the horror movie are also either silly, selfish or overconfident, which is fun, and viewers will be pleased to see any of them killed off at any point.
Overall, this is a horror film that is also a wacky comedy. The horror aspect is excellent, and the wolf creature is admirable. Wolf Manor proudly doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a fun factor, as it’s also a violent horror movie. Movie references and gags surrounding filmmaking are praiseworthy. Granted, some of the antics and ridiculousness of the film don’t always land a laugh, especially when it comes to the lead played by James Fleet. However, for those who enjoy horror movies and have a thirst for gore, blood, and surprising amounts of violence with a touch of “howling” humour, please, go; seek this one out. Wolf Manor (2022) is Available on Digital from 11th January.