Howl: Somehow British Public Transport Is Made Even Worse

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A train breaks down in the middle of nowhere and to make matters worse werewolves begin to terrorise those on board.

This is a fairly strong British werewolf film, is it Dog Soldiers good? No but few films can be. There is something so intimately familiar to the British experience within this film, the grubby train packed with angry people that breaks down; I have been there many times. Well maybe not recently in these Covid times.

Speaking of Dog Soldiers I enjoyed seeing Sean Pertwee appear in this film, he is always a very welcome presence as far as I am concerned. However, they kill him off almost immediately which is of course a huge missed opportunity. The cast we do get more time with are all serviceable though no one is particularly stand out.

The werewolf makeup effects and design were interesting, and we do get several good looks at them over the course of the film. I liked that this film felt like it was creating a fresh take on the creatures rather than trotting out standard genre cliches, the glowing eyes I thought were particularly effective.

Overall, a passable film that is fun to watch but one that won’t blow you away or stay in your mind long after watching.

Pros.

The werewolf design and makeup

The very British scenario

The ending

Cons.

Killing of Pertwee early

Pacing issues

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The Howling: Wellness Retreat Ends In Werewolf Attack

The Howling is a werewolf themed horror film directed by Joe Dante. The plot sees local news anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace), go to a mountain retreat after a near fatale run in with a serial killer. However, while there Karen does not find herself or her inner power, rather a colony of werewolves that have been living amongst us for years.

I am a huge Joe Dante fan, as many of you may know I have a huge love for Gremlins 1 and 2 as well as for some of his other projects like Burying The Ex, so I will try and remain impartial while I am writing this review.

Truth be told, I did not love this film as much as I was expecting to. In fact I found it to be boring at times and a little hard to follow. I think from a narrative perspective a lot of the ideas don’t come together, they are fine on their own, but don’t make sense when viewed as a whole. I found the beginning particularly bad for this, but it does improve as the film goes on.

I think the best thing about this film is the creature design. The werewolf costumes are of course practical, and I am a big believer in practical effects over CGI, they look very convincing and even hold up to our modern standard years later. I also thought the transformation scenes were well done, not American Werewolf In London good, but still terrific.

I also loved the ending, I thought it was bold and striking; shame about the sequel baiting at the end though.

Overall, a little boring and rough around the edges, but if you like werewolf film there is still something to enjoy!

Pros.

The creature design.

The ending.

Dante’s direction.

Cons.

It is boring and hard to follow at times.

The sequel baity ending

3/5

Reviewed by Luke