American Werewolves wastes no time informing the public of what to expect. The latest release from Seth Breedlove and Small Town Monsters delves into the phenomenon of American dogmen. In other words, the team takes on one of the most popular monsters in horror yet simultaneously ignored cryptids: werewolves. The only big difference between this release and other STM releases is the emphasis on eyewitness accounts. Does this estrangement from research help or hinder documentary?
There are many shows that hunt creatures out of folklore and UFOs. Some of them claim to be a scientific study, but they are all based on sensationalism and supposed observations. Breedlove has managed to differentiate itself not just by claiming to take a more scientific stance, but by suing. They all have their fantastic moments and crazy stories, but they all have a sense of legitimacy.
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By removing this more ingrained style American Werewolves goes with the most accepted formula; but it also loses the appeal that separates STM from all other cryptid work. And the film doesn’t rely primarily on eyewitness accounts, it uses them almost exclusively. There is no little evidence – not even newspaper accounts – to validate the claims. This means that the public must take everyone at their word. A daunting task when a story includes an encounter with werewolves and Bigfoot.
The film would have been better served had it been made in the style of The Mark of the Bell Witch. The film was made by the same team and also covered one of the lesser-known stories in American folklore. This is more of a horror movie than a documentary. There are many times when American Werewolves has that same feeling. The stories are really scary and the management creates a spooky atmosphere. The entertainment value is unquestionable, but it doesn’t have the same appeal as other Breedlove films.
American Werewolves hits VOD July 5
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