CARNIVORE: WEREWOLF OF LONDON *** UK 2017 Dir: Simon Wells 82 mins
Despite the subtitle, this engagingly stripped-down flick only fleetingly features our nation’s capital: an aerial shot of Piccadilly Circus and a coda at a city nightclub are about as far as it goes.
In a bid to save his flagging relationship, British bloke Ben Loyd-Holmes lures his feisty American girlfriend (Atlanta Johnson) to a cottage in the middle of nowhere, with key features being rustic charm, no Wi-fi and a prowling, feral werewolf outside. Both prone to selfish and irritable behaviour – and equally easy on the eye – Loyd-Holmes and Johnson make a reasonably credible couple: their sex scenes are a tad intrusive, but Johnson looks great in her scarlet evening dress and Loyd-Holmes is afforded a marvellous showcase for his impressive six-pack and perfectly honed, hairless bottom. In a nice touch, although our hero looks like he could be the star of a low budget remake of THE TRANSPORTER movies, he proves just as terrified as Johnson when the lycanthrope first strikes. Meanwhile, Johnson spends much of the climax chained up in a stable but gets to show real spirit and a late plot-turn boosts her role further. There are relatively unusual moments for the werewolf sub-genre (a freshly turned werewolf confronts the one responsible for their plight) and a pleasing old-school man-in-a-wolf-suit-and-mask werewolf to accompany the fun, splashy gore. Writer-director Wells generates tension from the atmospheric backdrop and ominous sound design, making the most of the restricted setting and overcoming some silly fake-jump scares and godawful soundtrack choices.
Review by Steven West