A brief editorial note. Somewhere along the way laziness officially took over and I stopped citing both the original title and the English translation in reviews of foreign films. This is now a thing of the past. Enjoy!
Alfie the Werewolf (Dolfje Weerwolfje) (2011)
Alfie the Werewolf is the tale of a foundling boy (Ole Kroes) who is staring to feel ostracized because he is treated differently than his brother (Maas Bronkhuyzen) at school. When the full moon comes he starts to discover just how different he may be. The title gives away just what tha difference is.
The treatment of the concept is most definitely one geared towards humor and a youthful audience, as opposed to one that lends an excessive amount of gravitas to it. The seriousness, the dramatic undertone, is left to the handling of the character’s wants and needs rather than any preternatural elements within the narrative.
If you’re looking for an analogous American film The Little Vampire comes to mind, even though I think that one plays into the darker side of the vampire lore albeit in an infantile fashion. In this film the werewolf is given the treatment of a kind of species rather than a curse or burden. This may be an expected approach when you consider this film is aimed at children. In certain ways, this also allows the condition to act as a metaphor, much as it always does.
While this is certainly not the film nor the score that Finn possesses Fons Merkies’ music is quite a standout in this film. It’s still fully orchestral but frequently has a melodic, lighter, jazzy feel that allows some of the common tropes of the subgenre to relax a bit.
Yet again this is an adaptation of a Dutch children’s novel. This series of books has been translated into English but their availability in the US in physical editions is scarce. They are easier to find as eBooks. Due to this fact its good that the film has been brought to North America through Attraction Distribution so that kids may be able to discover the story.
Perhaps what’s most refreshing about this film, from a production value and aesthetic standpoint, is the fact despite being a 2011 domestic release in the Netherlands it does not shy away from practical effects work. Yes, CGI is use where it’s truly beneficial like making the lycan child run about, but for more settled scenes he’s in a suit and make up. It is very well-done indeed.
Alfie the Werewolf is an enjoyable film for all members of the family, and perhaps most intriguing for parents is that it is a fairly benign way to reach a compromise with your kids on viewing material. It could satisfy the desire to see a werewolf movie but would not be potentially emotionally scarring in the process.