To be fair, nearly every werewolf tale told in the last thirty years could probably be considered “urban fantasy” by its loosest definition. Many of them take place in the modern world and involve the creature’s impact on modern society.
Wer, a 2013 film directed by William Brent Bell takes the concept a few steps further. As part of my work with The Fog of Dreams, I’ve been trying to catch up on some lycranthropy films I may have missed, and Wer was one of them.
It’s an interesting take on the mythology, using the existence of a particular disease which can create physical deformity and unusual hair growth as a spring board to more “realistic” werewolf tale. Ultimately, that’s what drew my attention. I tried to use those same elements with the creature in The Fog of Dreams initially, taking some of the werewolf tropes and applying them to the main character, using lunar cycles or genetics as reasons why.
Ultimately I withdrew from trying to match Strickland up too much with more familiar elements of werewolf mythology, as I felt they were holding me back from the story I wanted to tell…but in Wer they handle it really nicely. There are some scenes in Wer that really remind me of how I view the genetic experiments from Operation: Harvest in a real world situation. There’s a major conflict with a French SWAT team in the middle of the film which feels very much along my thought process, as well as a scene towards the end where the main character in Wer drops to all fours and runs. Very cool visual elements, and very similar to how I think my experiments exist within a “real world” frame of reference.
In the end, Wer feels like a gripping horror film which handles werewolfism in a slightly different but still entertaining way. I enjoyed it and like how it dovetails with my own universe slightly.
If you’re a fan of werewolf stories or films, check it out. It’s a small indy film, I believe, I didn’t know it existed until I really sought some out. It’s worth a look.