There's plenty to howl about in Blood and Chocolate, a werewolf movie lacking in bite. Straight from the producers of vamps vs. lycanthropes franchise Underworld, it's a talky romantic drama that's destined to disappoint anyone looking for blood, chocolate or wolf action. Agnes Bruckner plays Vivian, a were-girl in Romania who's torn between loyalty to her kind and a blossoming romance with human graphic novelist Aiden (Hugh Dancy). Muzzled by a 12A certificate, it's the Jack Russell of werewolf flicks.
Setting up a conflict between humans and lycanthropes, this inelegant adaptation of Annette Curtis Klausse's teen novel wants to be a tragedy, with the "loup garoux" - that's a fancy term for werewolves - struggling for survival in present day Romania. Less interested in action, it's full of doomed love, chocolate boxes and portentous dialogue ("We have survived for five thousand years by hiding who we are!"). It's also incredibly dull. Even the monsters are disappointing, the production so strapped for cash that it can't afford special effects. All we get are a few real-life wolves.
It has one moment that pumps the blood: a fight between man and wolf in an abandoned church, where the beast chomps its way through a confession booth. Other than that we're left to watch Olivier Martinez's lycanthrope leader sip absinthe, endure a jarring soundtrack as it puts Hard Fi to inappropriate use and see a werewolf stopped in its tracks by a silver table knife(!). None of which will help this toothless horror movie separate itself from the pack.
Blood And Chocolate is released in UK cinemas on Friday 9th February 2007.