Emma (Melissa Carnell) returns to her childhood home deep in the woods of Arkansas for some rest and relaxation but instead meets the mysterious stranger Johnny Lee (Matt Copko) and gets stalked by a dangerous werewolf.
It seems that Werewolf films are difficult to pull off. The list of films that have tried and failed is long while the films that have succeeded is surprisingly short. Unfortunately, it seems Werewolf Rising will have to add itself to the ever growing larger list. Despite some fairly competent cinematography, a main soundtrack theme that harks back to John Carpenter and an interesting and well created nightmare sequence, the film falls largely flat.
Werewolf Rising seems full of character inconsistencies. Emma is a recovering alcoholic who immediately pours the contents of two beer cans she finds in her fridge, out on to the ground, yet she is seen with a glass of wine over dinner a few scenes later, seemingly in no way bothered about that alcoholic temptation. She is told by a family friend, Wayne Dobbs (the pleasantly named Brian Berry) that Johnny Lee is a dangerous, escaped criminal, he even gives her a handgun in case he comes back, and then the next time she sees Johnny Lee she smiles, flirts and takes a ride on a quad bike with him to his dilapidated shack. Wayne Dobbs goes from being a loveable father figure to a violent, apparent child molester and almost rapist, rather randomly. By the time you get to the final stretch of the film, inconsistencies and random events and twists start to pile up turning any lingering interest into exasperated confusion and a complete lack of care. So many ideas are thrown into the last ten minutes that it’s like writer and director BC Furtney decided to throw every little idea he had in to the script. So we get child molestation, murder, sacrifice, nudity, mysterious family history, main protagonists troubled mental state and random bad guy from family’s past all lumped together at the end and none of it really works or comes together.
Much of a werewolf movie’s success can rely on the effectiveness of its werewolf and Werewolf Rising falls down on this as well. It attempts a werewolf changing scene that just has what looks like accidental green screen glitches and then, I swear, actually superimposes a picture of the werewolf head mid change from American Werewolf In London onto the head of its werewolf. The actual wolf is mostly seen in glimpses or its loud howl heard, which is to the films benefit really because once you do see the werewolf full on it just becomes funny as it’s obviously just a guy in a hairy, rubber costume. At least you’ll get some laughs when he chases Emma through the woods.
Luckily, at only an hour and ten minutes long, Werewolf Rising won’t take up too much of your time. A couple of unintentional laughs but that’s most of the entertainment you’re going to get from it.