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"Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Old 09-25-23, 12:08 AM
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"Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge



Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)




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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2023 DISCUSSION | 2023 LISTS
Old 10-12-23, 09:02 PM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I was excited to revisit Brotherhood of the Wolf in Ultra High Definition; it looks fantastic - what layered and haunting film. Its strange the director, Christopher Gans, never did much more than BoTW (also Silent Hill & an upcoming Silent Hill 3 movie); I guess making an elaborate critically acclaimed historical epic was enough. Id be curious to know how he got such a gutsy unique film financed, it looks like they spared no expense but Ive read it made quite a profit for what it cost.

Early sections feel carefully paced to increase the mystique of the beast with detailed scenes of panic, dread, and much talking. Its well shot and varied enough it never feels especially slow even if the beast rarely starts to exist within the film outside the myth until later - the slow reveal gives way to hysteria beyond the fiend and parellels the revolution nicely (that its a film about context more than horrors). Holding off on the creature until the hoax of its death gave it free reign to kill was a brilliant idea. The creature design is elaborate and ghastly even more so that it has some controller (challenging the tropes of wolves as models of feral rage); but I do not miss Y2K era CGI. The conspiracy twist is grand especially for horror of a scope beyond compare.

The prostitute romance subplot seems odd but I think makes the case how alienated the heroes and in contrast to how strong of a lady character Marianne is - still feels a little random even if the spy reveal deepens the plot the means dont justify it.

How much of the movie did Jean-Francois walk around with that sword strapped to his chest before he got to cinematically disrobe and combat?

Who's the wise guy that suggested a 2.5 hour movie on the middle of the challenge?

Edit: I have this on digital and it was dub only, at times the dub was distracting but overall ok.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-30-23 at 11:35 AM.
Old 10-26-23, 07:14 PM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
Who's the wise guy that suggested a 2.5 hour movie on the middle of the challenge?
And you get another one with Terrifier 2! Eat it, bitch!

I really like this movie. I haven't seen BOTW in a really long time and had forgotten how beautifully shot it is. The cinematography, the editing, the acting, the costumes, the locations...just everything in this movie fires on all cylinders.

Well...almost all. The CG is terrible. I mean bad. It is a shame because they build up the monster so well and then you get stuck with...ugh...that. When they have the few practical close-up shots, they look great. But for fuck's sake...this is one movie where I would not mind them going back and either redoing all the CG or actually inserting some practical effects throughout. I know the actions they wanted to give the monster affect the use of practical in a lot of it but damn, so terrible. Talk about taking you out of the movie.

And speaking of taking out...this movie is way too fucking long. Yeah, it is beautiful to look at, but do we need the incest subplot, the back from the dead subplot and the prostitute subplot? Cut all that excess and you have a 2 hour, nicely paced film.

MY other complaint on this movie is the death of The Indian. I get why they killed him for the story, and it is a surprise to me, but I hate the tone shift. Once he dies, the whole movie seems to totally change. It suddenly becomes a live-action anime with swirling swords, crazy hook/swing/chain thing, jumping spin after jumping spin, and an indestructible hero. I am really not a fan of the last 30 minutes of this movie after such an enjoyable 2 hours.

And I find it funny that our heroes are there forever and never find the damn creature. Then they leave and once they go back, they find the damn thing almost immediately. It just seems jarring to me after spending so much time NOT finding the monster.

I know I bitched a lot but the good of this movie far outweighs the bad. It was a nice revisit.

My rating: **** out of *****
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Old 10-26-23, 09:34 PM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
I was excited to revisit Brotherhood of the Wolf in Ultra High Definition; it looks fantastic - what layered and haunting film. Its strange the director, Christopher Gans, never did much more than BoTW (also Silent Hill & an upcoming Silent Hill 3 movie); I guess making an elaborate critically acclaimed historical epic was enough. Id be curious to know how he got such a gutsy unique film financed, it looks like they spared no expense but Ive read it made quite a profit for what it cost.

Early sections feel carefully paced to increase the mystique of the beast with detailed scenes of panic, dread, and much talking. Its well shot and varied enough it never feels especially slow even if the beast rarely starts to exist within the film outside the myth until later - the slow reveal gives way to hysteria beyond the fiend and parellels the revolution nicely (that its a film about context more than horrors). Holding off on the creature until the hoax of its death gave it free reign to kill was a brilliant idea. The creature design is elaborate and ghastly even more so that it has some controller (challenging the tropes of wolves as models of feral rage); but I do not miss Y2K era CGI. The conspiracy twist is grand especially for horror of a scope beyond compare.

The prostitute romance subplot seems odd but I think makes the case how alienated the heroes and in contrast to how strong of a lady character Marianne is - still feels a little random even if the spy reveal deepens the plot the means dont justify it.

How much of the movie did Jean-Francois walk around with that sword strapped to his chest before he got to cinematically disrobe and combat?

Who's the wise guy that suggested a 2.5 hour movie on the middle of the challenge?


Not much I'd say. There's the scene in the final act where de Fronsac enters the "cultish relics" room and you can see the sword hanging on the wall in the secret compartment. Don't think Jean Francois was lugging that around that much.
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Undeadcow (10-26-23)
Old 10-29-23, 01:37 PM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

I watched this years ago, and had a good opinion of it, but I *loved* it on rewatch. I love the historical setting, the cinematography, the unusual addition of martial arts. And werewolves are one of my favorite themes, though rarely done well. It was here. I didn't mind the various subplots or the long run time. Mark Dacascos as Mani is fascinating to watch. Loved him. I don't really have much to complain about. 4/5 stars for me.
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Spiderbite (10-29-23), WillieMLF (10-30-23)
Old 10-30-23, 07:46 AM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

This is a beautiful looking film. I had seen it ~15 years ago, but didn't remember much. Historical period films put my wife right to sleep, and she was snoring up a storm 10 minutes in. I enjoyed the hell out of this one, but it could be shorter.
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Old 10-30-23, 08:14 AM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Could have sworn we had done this as a subset before! One of my favorites, and another where I’m still roughing it with DVD only. Looked great though.
Old 10-31-23, 10:35 AM
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Re: "Brotherhood of the Wolf" Reviews/Discussion - 2023 Horror Challenge

Supposedly this is based on true events but who knows about stories from the 1700s. Bottom line is this is a good, not great film. Its way too self indulgent at 2.5 hours and the special effects are terrible.
6/10

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