Many of these Universal monster movies are about the fear of "the other"; they build on largely Victorian-era prejudices about swarthy outsiders infiltrating polite society. What makes The Wolf Man different & superior is that it examines the fear of the beast within; its anxiety of transformation, both physical & psychological, seems redolent with deeper interpretation. The horror evokes prejudice & mob retaliation.
Some aspects of this movie haven't aged well, and their refusal to show Lon Cheney Jr.'s face transform for reasons of it being "too scary" short-changes parts of the movie (we would see his face transform in subsequent sequels), but like all Universal monster movies, it has a nice atmosphere and while it doesn't stack up to the work of, say, Val Lewton, it still has a classic feel that makes it fun to watch.
As far as Universal horror films go, I'd rank this behind only the first two "Frankenstein" films. While it's short running time might give it a rushed feel, it makes up for that with its fine cast, relentlessly eerie atmosphere, well-defined characters and mythology, and Jack Piece's ever-brilliant make-up work. What else can I say? It's an indisputable horror classic, and essential viewing for fans of the genre.
A fast paced and superb classic werewolf-movie that has excellent character portraits and is not only interested in the monster and how it kills -it is the humanity why we remember as Lon Chaney jr. play marvelous as a pained man. A fantastic ensemble too. Only the strange continuity problems make the film look sloppily edited and more low-budgeted than it really is. A necessary film to see for horror fans.
Out of all of Universal's monster movies this is one of the best and one of my favorites. The Wolf Man is iconic and you can see the amount of influence that this film has had on pop culture. Lon Chaney Jr. is great in this film, he has a very expressive face. This is a horror classic that every film buff should see at least once in their lifetime.
In my opinion, THE WOLF MAN isn't great as some people said. The narrative seems rushed. The 70-minutes of its runtime went so fast. The climatic scene isn't engaging at all. The theme about a man who battling his inner demon/beast doesn't look epic in this movie. There is one thing that I loved from THE WOLF MAN. I loved its atmospheric cinematography. The black & white color looks very frightening. It's still good.
Can finally say I have seen all the classic Universal monster flicks, but I wouldn't put this one at the top. Yes the acting is fine, but why does Chaney have zero accent with Rains as his father? Also, Bela Lugosi shouldve had a more substantial role. For what it is though, its still great, and the forest scenes are particularly effective with good moody photography and staging. Mummy and Invisible Man still my favs