This reunion reveals dark family secrets, a family curse, and precipitates a great deal of bloodshed. We all know the basic werewolf lore, that the condition is caught by a bite and that they can be killed by silver bullets (or anything silver for that matter). All of this comes out of Lawrence's investigation, one that brings the curse crashing down on him. Lawrence is forced to deal with this as well as avoid the Scotland Yard Inspector Abbilene (Hugo Weaving) while he tries to find out how it all fits together. Will it lead to his undoing? Can the curse be broken? Some questions will be answered while others are left hanging as the story fails to really deliver that which I craved.
Watching the film makes it abundantly clear that elements were removed. Some of the scenes seem not to have a strong relation to each other, as if the reactions were originally to different lines. Relationships that should have more weight to them never fully develop. It is almost like the audio stepped in and cut it to keep the pace fast and diminish character development. It does not ruin the film by any stretch, but it definitely does not help its case. I have heard talk that director Joe Johnston is working on a director's cut that is more than 20 minutes longer. Perhaps this will help with the story issues.
The look of the film is pure Gothic. It is a period piece that feels like a cross between the original The Wolf Man and a Hammer Studios production. It is very British in its execution. There are stretches of spoken exposition that are a bit clunky, but work for the film's style. The acting is generally stiff and unrealistic by modern standards, but I like to think it was more of a stylistic choice to reinforce the feeling that it is an old film.