Don’t you hate it when a movie gets spoiled by its trailer? I can’t even begin to count the number of films where I watched the trailer and thought, “Well that’s got to be 90% of the plot.” Which brings me to Wer, a movie that makes you wonder whether the antagonist is actually supernatural or not, while the trailer flat out says, yeah, he’s a werewolf.
The movie starts off with an interesting idea: a large, hairy man is arrested for the brutal murder of some tourists in France, and we follow Kate, his defense attorney. It’s her job to argue that her client, Talan (Brian Scott O’Connor), was physically incapable of the crime. Like, sure, he’s big and scary looking, but his mobility is limited and he only seems to get aggressive when the antagonizing cops, led by Captain Pistor (Mr. Sebastian Roché, AKA Balthazar on Supernatural), start shit. Kate soon finds a possible conspiracy on her hands–see, Talan’s dad died in a very suspicious car accident, and attempts to buy his mother’s property and turn it into a place to store toxic waste haven’t gone anywhere. How did the cops find Talan so quickly? Why are they acting like he’s way more aggressive than he is? Could it be that pinning the blame on Talan is all part of grabbing his family’s property? Well… yes, that actually is the case. A bear gets blamed for the killings, and Talan gets a diagnosis of porphyria to explain his physical deformities.
But then the movie just kind of loses it at the end. Talan kills a bunch of cops and goes wild. It’s revealed that his DNA is not 100% human and that his murder rages coincide with the full moon. Talan corners Kate, but her friend Gavin comes to her rescue. Oh, yeah, she had a nerdy ex who got bit by Talan early on and is now a werewolf too. And he completely shaved all of his body hair (including eyebrows) because… um… probably because the actor couldn’t grow enough hair to look like the practically fur-covered Talan. The two fight, Talan is presumably drowned, and Pistor shoots Kate before he dies, because you know, ACAB and the conspiracy. The film ends with Talan possibly still alive, Gavin absolutely still alive and pretending he’s not a werewolf, and Kate barely alive somewhere off camera.
I realize the movie probably had a tough time coming to an ending. Like, sure, the movie sets up this mystery of what really happened and questions if Talan is actually a werewolf, but the trailers make it very clear that he is a murderous monster. Throwing in porphyria is… certainly a decision. That’s a real disease that, yes, is a possible origin for some monster myths. Severe cases may have symptoms like extreme sensitivity to sunlight (vampires), excessive hair growth (werewolves), and potential antisocial mental disorders (both). The movie has a possible out when they reveal that Talan’s DNA is not fully human, but it just feels like they took a real disease–which, for the record, is not contagious–saw its association with mythological monsters, and decided to run with it.
All in all, it’s a bit of a shame that Brian Scott O’Connor has no other IMDB credits. I guess acting didn’t call to him as much as… being a bassist in the rock band Eagles of Death Metal? And that’s the band that sang “I Want You So Hard”? And the music video for that song includes Jack Black and Dave Grohl?! Well then, I learned something today. Thanks, Wer! Turns out you weren’t a waste of time after all!
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