Monday, July 14, 2008

The Howling Review



The Howling is a werewolf classic
. However, it is not without its own flaws and many people disregard the franchise due to the amount of sequels involved in the series, however it is still one cool werewolf movie.

The movie follows a news anchor that nearly escapes the grasp of a serial killer. Along the way she learns of a psycho therapy colony that turns out to be a werewolf breeding ground of sorts, and is attacked. After the attack she starts to warn others of the existence of werewolves and when people don’t believe, she turns into one, causing chaos to break loose.

Here is a trailer for the film The Howling:



This movie is a classic in many ways. It is one of the first werewolf movie’s that I saw growing up and revisiting this classic was easy. For me it is just a cool movie at times, but the pacing has not gotten better.

The movie seems to go on a weird tangent involving sex at one point, and the pacing between the story set up and the actual dangerous situations seems a bit extended. I’m not sure at some points where the story is going, even though I know there is going to be a werewolf just around the corner.

Some might find the pacing to be the deal breaker, but if you hang in there, you will see a makeshift transformation scene.

One thing that I always ask when watching these films is, what are people doing during the transformations? I know one thing is for sure, they aren’t running. They wait for the transformation to be complete, then they scream and then they run.

The coolest part of this movie is found in the latter sequences where the main wolf is seen through first person viewing. You see two arms as the camera assumes the head position of the wolf, creating an awesome scene where you are almost in control of the action. Why they haven’t made a howling fps yet is beyond me!

The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and you can notice this in many different comical reactions and disbelief in the characters as they realize what is going on around them. Unlike many werewolf movies, this one has a sense of its own stupidity, and doesn’t try to make it too serious like many other films. You actually appreciate that because if you’re a horror movie fan, you know how serious some of these werewolf movies try to be (ie; Cursed).

On a gore level, the blood splatter is minimal in comparison to other wolf films, but there is enough sexuality, blood and violence to satisfy most audiences. The Howling seems to want to stick to the original novel it is based on, although I doubt it really makes it to such a literary level.

I liked this one and it is one of my favorite werewolf films of all time. I know that the chimera aspect of werewolves is a bit odd for most, but there are some great sequences and for the time, the effects are awesome. I recommend The Howling as a staple in the werewolf film franchise, but make sure you take this with a grain of salt, because it’s not the end all be all werewolf film.

If you like werewolf movies, check out these other wolf classics:

Wolf via Amazon.com
Teen Wolf via Amazon.com
An American Werewolf in London via Amazon.com
Silver Bullet via Amazon.com
The Wolfman via Amazon.com

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