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An American Werewolf in London (1981)


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 41
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 113,686



Movie Info

While wandering the English moors on vacation, college yanks David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) happen upon a quaint pub with a mysterious patronage who warn them not to leave the road when walking after dark. Irreverent of such advice as characters in horror films always are, the two decide to find a short cut....David wakes up in the hospital with a nasty bite wound to his shoulder; the freshly deceased, and rapidly decomposing, Jack arrives soon after to deliver the grim news … More

R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
John Landis
In Theaters:
Dec 9, 1997
Universal Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for An American Werewolf in London

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (5) | DVD (34)

Not just gory but actually frightening, not just funny but clever, 'American Werewolf...' has its flaws, but these are outweighed by the film's many, mighty strengths.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

A clever mixture of comedy and horror which succeeds in being both funny and scary, An American Werewolf in London possesses an overriding eagerness to please that prevents it from becoming off-putting.

Full Review… | September 23, 2007
Top Critic

It's a failure, less because the odd stylistic mix doesn't take (it does from time to time, and to striking effect) than because Landis hasn't bothered to put his story into any kind of satisfying shape.

Full Review… | September 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Seems curiously unfinished, as if director John Landis spent all his energy on spectacular set pieces and then didn't want to bother with things like transitions, character development, or an ending.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

When the movie backfires, which it finally does, it's because too much grisly footage has been used too lightly.

Full Review… | November 5, 2002
New York Times
Top Critic

Considering its often campy competition, it's hard to argue that, if your in the mood for lycanthropy, London is the place to go.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Landis maintains the delicate balance between horror and humor until the final scene's gratuitous series of car crashes.

Full Review… | August 16, 2013
People Magazine

Director John Landis here pulls off the difficult trick of revitalising the horror genre while parodying it at the same time.

Full Review… | August 16, 2013
Radio Times

One of the few horror films that explore the psychological effects of lycanthropy alongside the physical and the fallout...

Full Review… | October 28, 2012
Cinema Crazed

The best movie ever written by a teenager -- Landis was 19 when he penned the first draft - and a constant comic delight.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009

But in a "comedy horror" picture, the "horror" bits aren't supposed to be this scary. He would have been better off dispensing with the comedy altogether.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Times [UK]

Scary-funny is an acquired taste. For me, it tends to be a recipe in which you can't taste either of the constituent ingredients. The big man-to-wolf transformation scene is still a marvel.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009

The metamorphoses into the werewolf scenes are spectacular and the beast's rampage through Piccadilly Circus is marvellous. Splendid gory fun.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Sky Movies

Still scary, violent and very, very funny.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Total Film

Some of the special effects are a little creaky now, but the snap of Landis's editing and the razor's-edge balance of horror and comedy are still fresh.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009

An American Werewolf in London, like a fine wine, just keeps getting more and more vintage.

Full Review… | September 11, 2009

Undeniably delivers a good share of scares and dark laughs. And for all its lack of discipline, it's a model of directorial clarity when compared with Landis's subsequent work, which inexorably descended into indulgence and foolishness.

Full Review… | September 23, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Carnivorous lunar activities rarely come any more entertaining than this.

Full Review… | September 23, 2007
Empire Magazine

One of the all-time great horror movies, a pitch-perfect mix of belly laughs and genuine scares.

Full Review… | July 23, 2007

Director John Landis brings humor to this offbeat reworking of the familiar tale for which Rick Baker received a well deserved Oscar for his makeup (in the first year of that category).

Full Review… | March 27, 2007

You've got to give John Landis credit for taking the well-worn werewolf tale and injecting it with new life, so to speak.

Full Review… | January 1, 2007
Movie Metropolis

Darkly funny, suspenseful and unforgettable.

April 11, 2006

Brilliant - funny and scary at the same time.

November 8, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for An American Werewolf in London

A werewolf movie turned into a comedy. It's a very original idea that cinema had never been seen before. Werewolf in London couldn't have done it better. It had the feeling of a classic black and white horror movie and the make up is absolutely outstanding. As it's among the best ever crafted. Not so much a scary film by modern standards but with a mix of black humour, light hearted comedy and likable characters it deserves its ultimate cult status.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


This is classic stuff here, its faultless, effects are awesome, note the legendary transformation scene in Agutter's flat completely done without cgi using REAL skills and craftsmanship. The whole thing is macabre, spooky and funny, its also pretty scary here and there, the Nazi demon dream sequences make you jump haha whilst the ending is a gore fest, love it, an adult 'Beetlejuice'. Bluuuue Moooon

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Having watched numerous werewolf movies and knowing that this movie had nothing new to offer, I was too hesitant to go for it. But it wasn't quite as boring as I'd expected.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

An American Werewolf in London, is good exemple of horror and dark comedy.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

An American Werewolf in London Quotes

David Kessler:
I'm a werewolf.
Alex Price:
Are you alright?
David Kessler:
I don't know, I'll let you know the next full moon.
– Submitted by Bria M (2 years ago)
David Kessler:
Queen Elizabeth is a man! Prince Charles is a faggot! Winston Churchill was full of shit! Shakespeare was French! Fuck! Shit! Cunt!
– Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
David Kessler:
Be rational, sure...I'm a fucking werewolf for Christs Sake!
– Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
David Kessler:
Look at me, sitting in a porno theather in Piccadilly Circus talking to a Corpse!
– Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
Jack Goodman:
[as nurse goes Jack appears] Can I have a piece of that?
David Kessler:
Get the fuck out of here Jack!
Jack Goodman:
Thanks a lot David!
– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
(after hearing a wolf's howl) - Listen. Do you hear it? We must go to them.
Chess player:
(pretending he heard nothing) - I heard nothing.
Darts Player:
(puts his head down in shame) - Nor I.
– Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)

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