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The Howling (1981)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 30,841

My Rating

Movie Info

This groundbreaking, darkly comic horror film from director Joe Dante changed the look and feel of werewolf movies in ways light-years distant from Universal's horror classic The Wolf Man. The story begins with television reporter/anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace) taking part in a dangerous police operation intended to trap psychopath Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo). When confronted by Eddie face to face, she witnesses something horrifying enough to trigger selective amnesia. Plagued by a series of



John Sayles, Terence H. Winkless

Aug 28, 2001

MGM Home Entertainment

Watch It Now


Latest News on The Howling

November 10, 2010:
New Howling Movie Lands at Anchor Bay
Confirming months of rumors and announcements, Anchor Bay has picked up distribution rights to a new...
November 9, 2009:
New Howling Sequel in Development
Hey, remember "The Howling"? So does Moonstone Entertainment, where something called "The Howling...


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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (10) | DVD (29)

One of the rare good werewolf films.

July 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An almost unparalleled horror mystery that gave its werewolves fangs and humanity.

June 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

I don't think there's a better werewolf movie than this.

May 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

A top-notch werewolf flick.

October 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A perverse, satirical contribution to the oft-maligned werewolf genre.

November 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

A classic werewolf effort

August 26, 2005
Lawrence Journal-World

...with its slow pace and lack of compelling characters, it's hard not to wonder just what it is about the movie that fans have latched onto...

May 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A first-rate horror offering.

March 25, 2005
Nitrate Online

Amusing horror spoof with great character names for this who know their werewolf movies.

March 1, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Jokes are placed within the frame like details in the panels of a Mad magazine movie parody...

October 27, 2003
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

You could fashion a good drinking game out of catching all the sight gags

August 26, 2003 Full Review Source:

Its monsters are curiously wimpy, these hulks don't so much smash as paw meekly.

August 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

By the time The Howling finally gets howling, it's pretty much over.

August 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Com bons efeitos especiais de maquiagem e clímax tenso, o filme tem um bom final (raro para o gênero), apesar do roteiro frouxo.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

This movie had three things that made it awesome: Nudity, Werewolf Sex, and plenty of gore.

March 17, 2003 Full Review Source:

Nice werewolf effects, but the rest of the film never quite hits its stride.

January 22, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

'La la la, let me walk in the woods and find out what that dreadful noise is.'

October 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

A close second to "American Werewolf in London."

July 27, 2002

Audience Reviews for The Howling

April 30, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Aside from An American Werewolf in London, The Howling is one of the best werewolf films ever. Joe Dante crafts a solid werewolf film with great acting, terrifying moments and good acting. The film does have room for improvement, but overall, The Howling is a solidly crafted film. After a near fatal encounter with a mass murderer, reporter Karen White is sent to a rehab facility to recuperate from her ordeal. However she soon realizes that things are strange and aren't what they seem. The film is brilliantly directed by Joe Dante who previously helmed Piranha and went on to direct other classics such as Gremlins and The Burbs. The film feature a terrific cast of actors, Slim Pickens is of course, one of the most noteworthy names of the cast and he delivers something totally different from his previous work. The film features awesome special effects by Rob Bottin who would later create the astounding effects in John Carpenter's The Thing. The Howling is a terrific piece of horror cinema that is most definitely a classic. The film has a terrific plot and great scares to keep the most diehard Horror fans pleased. Joe Dante is a very underrated director, and all of his films have something to love about them. The Howling is tense, horrifying and totally strange the way a horror film should be. I once saw a review by Roger Ebert stating that this was a film that shows a women being the victim, he threw this film in the same basket as I Spit on Your Grave and other slasher films of the early 80's. Ebert seemed to forget that THIS is a WEREWOLF film not a slasher film. Man, I hate that critic. Anyhow this brings me to a point. The Howling is not a film that shows the woman being the victim, sure the main character recovers from an ordeal where she almost gets killed by the hands of a serial killer, but in no way is this glorifying it. That plot device sets the tone to the story, and The Howling should not be dismissed as trash. The film is a good old fashioned Werewolf film that scary, thrilling and exciting. A well written and executed horror film. Also it shows that Roger Ebert doesn't know shit about what he's talking about.
December 9, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Karen: A secret society exists, and is living among all of us. They are neither people nor animals, but something in-between.

"Imagine your worst fear a reality"

The Howling is a decent werewolf film. It doesn't match some of the best of the genre, but it also exceeds the great majority. Joe Dante always brings a lot of fun to his movies and The Howling is no different. The movie is fun in sections, but throughout I'd call it only mildly engaging. The whole colony setup was really obvious, so it was all very predictable.

I liked the movie for the most part and will say that it is a worthwhile watch. There are a few scenes in the movie that are really well done including a really cool ending that I loved. The rest of the movie is just good enough to get you through to the great scenes. The cast isn't great, but it isn't bad. The performances are admirable without being all that good.

Basically The Howling ends up being a movie that I'm in between on. It's good enough for a recommendation, but not good enough to say you need to watch it. If you're a fan of the genre, definitely watch it because it is good enough for at least one viewing. Just don't expect a movie that exceeds An American Werewolf in London.
September 18, 2011
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

My favourite modern werewolf film, I loved it! The story is suspenseful and mysterious, and the special effects are really good. If you like werewolf movies, I highly recommend it.
January 10, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Chris: I've got silver bullets in here. (points rifle)
    2. Jerry Warren: Silver bullets my ass! Get up, T.C.!
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Chris: (looking in what was Eddie Quist's morgue locker) - He's not here!
    2. Morgue Attendant (Uncredited): He was here this morning!
    3. Terry Fisher: (noticing the damage on the inside of the locker door) - Look at the door!
    4. Chris: You think somebody took him?
    5. Morgue Attendant (Uncredited): Well, he didn't just get up and walk away!
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Eddie: I'm gonna give you a piece of my mind. I trusted you, Karen.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Dr. George Waggner: Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man. The noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Karen White: There was howling just a minute ago.
    2. R. William "Bill" Neill: It was probably somebody's stray dog.
    3. Karen White: It didn't sound like any dog I've ever heard before.
    4. R. William "Bill" Neill: Honey, you're from Los Angeles. The wildest thing you've ever heard is Wolfman Jack. This is the country.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
    1. Donna: Haven't you ever done Assertiveness Training? Before I looked into the Doc, I did it all - EST, T.M., Scientology, iridology, Primal Scream. I don't know, I figure another five years of real hard work, and maybe I'll be a real human being.
    – Submitted by Creep F (3 years ago)
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