David Hayter’s directorial debut, Wolves, has been a recurring topic of interest since the turn of the decade. Last time he broadcast word on the film, we wound up with a synopsis and a handful of cast images (plus a poster boasting a top notch pull quote from Hayter himself). That was in 2013, but in case you’ve forgotten all about Wolves in the intervening year, don’t worry; as of today, we’re staring down the barrel of its first red band trailer.
The clip’s appearance demands an immediate answer to an obvious question: does Wolves live up to Hayter’s original promise? Is this really going to be the edgier, bloodier Twilight he intended? And if so, is Wolves just a bit too late to capitalize on that family resemblance? After all, the big screen take on Stephanie Meyer’s tale of bloodsuckers and lycanthropes wrapped in 2012 with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Does Wolves matter as much now that Twilight hype has come to a simmer?
Maybe so, maybe not. All that really needs to be said is that Wolves looks like it’s walking the knife’s edge between being tongue in cheek genre fun and being too self-serious for its own good. Put another way, this thing looks goofy, though it’s also surprisingly violent; the teaser boasts some pretty impressive arterial spray, seen in scuffles fought among warring werewolves, and if there’s one thing Twilight sorely lacked, it’s splatter (and unleashed hormones).
Wolves centers on Cayden (Lucas Till, X-Men: First Class), a kid who has it made in the high school world until he discovers that he’s turning into a werewolf. King bummer, that, so the boy goes on the lam to figure out what’s happening to him; on his wanderings, he stumbles into a conflict between two rival clans of werewolves, one led by the peaceful farmer John Tollerman (Stephen McHattie, Watchmen), the other by the savage Connor (Game of Thrones and possible future Aquaman star Jason Momoa).
Whether any of this winds up playing well in a theater depends heavily on tone; the trailer reads “cheesy B-movie” all over, and if Wolves commits to that attitude, then all of the silly dialogue and creature design (which frankly looks more feline then canine) will add to its charm. If not, then, well, it probably won’t be any worse than any Twilight film, though that’s a pretty low measuring stick to be judged by.
Wolves will be available on VOD beginning next week on October 16th; it opens in select theaters on November 14th, 2014.