As you may know from previous reviews of scary movies, I love bad horror/scary movies, especially if they include the supernatural dating scene. There is just something inherently funny about grand speeches and lovesick looks being paired with bad CGI and plot holes. Today’s review of Blood and Chocolate, however, came about from my desire to scour the imdb history of Hugh Dancy after his brilliant run in Hannibal (go watch this right now if you haven’t seen it).
My hands did a Mr. Burns “eeeexcellent” when I found out it was also a werewolf romance! Set in Bucarest, Dancy plays Aiden, a graphic novelist researching the rugaru – the original werewolves of myth – when he meets up with Vivian, an actual werewolf. Thanks to the rather random laws of the pack leader Gabriel, she is promised to the him, so it looks like a proper star-crossed romance for our heroes. But how will our naive Aiden react to seeing werewolves in real life?
This all sounds about as standard a werewolf plot as you can get, right? It is, pretty much, though some elements allows it to redeem itself slightly. The transformation into actual wolves – not werewolves – is decent for this type of film and you avoid corny prosthetics. The pack dynamic is also somewhat interesting, though not nearly developed enough. We get no real sense of how old these rugaru grow, or what sort of agreement or contact they have with the human world, which the film had the potential to explore, but didn’t. The relationships between the pack leader, his son, and his previous wife is what made it stand out for me, but again there’s so little time to follow through.
Instead, the story is placed firmly in the hands of our heroine, Vivian, played by Agnes Bruckner. Working for a chocolatier (hence the title) she comes off as a wax model compared to Dancy. The character is barely explored. Her backstory with her parents dying in America is referenced a few times with barely a sad look, and her love for Aiden comes off as an escape route more than anything real. She just needs an excuse not to marry Gabriel, who is definitely giving off a creepy old man vibe.
Weird plot decisions (the whole pack hunting a single human a month “for survival” made no sense) and a one-sided romance aside, the film wasn’t nearly as bad as expected and brought out more “huh, cool I guess” than laughs. All except for the horrendous soundtrack, which reared its ugly head about 20 minutes in for some reason. I guess Hugh Dancy’s work is worth watching regardless, but please check out Daniel Deronda, Hysteria or his excellent work on The Big C before you resort to this.
Dice roll: 3