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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 4

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

60

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

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

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 113,620

My Rating

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

R,

Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

John Landis

Dec 9, 1997

Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on An American Werewolf in London

July 22, 2011:
Effects Legend Rick Baker Says Creating Monsters is a Labor of Love
Legendary makeup-effects artist Rick Baker kept an audience at Comic-Con International mesmerized...
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This week's Ketchup includes news of two new CGI- animated movies based on classic children's book...

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (4) | 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.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop 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.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (5)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (11)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

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

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

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

October 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

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

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

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.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK] | Comment (1)
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.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

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

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Still scary, violent and very, very funny.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
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.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

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

September 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Dread Central

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.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Carnivorous lunar activities rarely come any more entertaining than this.

September 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

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

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Comment (1)
eFilmCritic.com

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).

March 27, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

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

January 1, 2007 Full Review
Movie Metropolis

Darkly funny, suspenseful and unforgettable.

April 11, 2006
ColeSmithey.com

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.
December 24, 2011
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
November 19, 2011
phubbs1

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.
June 3, 2011
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

An American Werewolf in London, is good exemple of horror and dark comedy.
May 17, 2011
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

    1. David Kessler: I'm a werewolf.
    2. Alex Price: Are you alright?
    3. David Kessler: I don't know, I'll let you know the next full moon.
    – Submitted by Bria M (2 years ago)
    1. 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)
    1. David Kessler: Be rational, sure...I'm a fucking werewolf for Christs Sake!
    – Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
    1. David Kessler: Look at me, sitting in a porno theather in Piccadilly Circus talking to a Corpse!
    – Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
    1. Jack Goodman: [as nurse goes Jack appears] Can I have a piece of that?
    2. David Kessler: Get the fuck out of here Jack!
    3. Jack Goodman: Thanks a lot David!
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)
    1. Barmaid: (after hearing a wolf's howl) - Listen. Do you hear it? We must go to them.
    2. Chess player: (pretending he heard nothing) - I heard nothing.
    3. Darts Player: (puts his head down in shame) - Nor I.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
View all quotes (52)

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