The Howling Reviews
January 19, 2014
Some of the effects may look a bit dated now but this is still a great werewolf story and an entertaining enough horror film. It follows the story of TV journalist, Karen White (played by Dee Wallace), who has been on the trail of a homicidal murderer. After an attempt to snare the psychopath goes wrong, Dee and her husband take respite at "The Colony", a kind of hippie commune run by therapist Dr. Waggner. However, all is not as it seems at the retreat and Karen, her partner and a couple of her colleagues uncover a dark secret with some pretty horrifying outcomes. There's a less than subtle sexual thread to the movie which permeates much of the action. Generally the effects are good for the time although we do, I feel, linger longer on the animatronic transformations than is really credible. Indeed there are a few scenes where, rather than staring in disbelief as various characters sprout hairs, slobber and grow huge fangs and claws, the protagonists would be better served to run like hell....and they'd probably make over the county boarder before the changes are complete. Once we have got through the metamorphoses and we have fully-fledged werewolves, they are amongst some of the best on film and certainly up to that point in the history of the genre. Director Joe Dante puts in some nice touches that reference directly and indirectly the old Universal Lon Chaney movie of the 1940s. Later he went on to direct Gremlins and you can really see how his style was developing here. There are also a few darkly comic moments that lighten a sometimes clunky and cliched script. There's a nice supporting cast in the form of the cuddly Patrick MacNee, rather portly Slim Pickens, vampy Elisabeth Brooks and 80s macho-man Christopher Stone. This movie is what it is and doesn't pretend to be anything sophisticated. It has been surpassed by slicker production methods and CGI effects but retains a good atmospheric feel and is a great, late-night genre piece to be enjoyed in the early hours on a chilly night.
December 30, 2013
A good werewolf movie is a very rare beast indeed, I can think of only two, and this is one of them.
June 8, 2013
One of the most refreshingly original horror films to date. Fantastic effects and a darkly comic atmosphere have made 'The Howling' a horror favorite that never loses its bite.
May 29, 2010
Reasonable werewolf movie, though the bar is set pretty low in that genre. Plot is better than most horror movies. The special effects were probably fairly innovative in 1981, now they look incredibly cheap and lame.
Performances are OK. Good to see Slim Pickens as the Sheriff.
January 2, 2007
Gave this another look since we've been watching/re-watching a bunch of 80's era horror staples the past few weeks.
The film still holds up rather well, though I'm beginning to hate Dee Wallace' character, she's got this rather whining tone from the first word she speaks, and has little to do except be a victim and whinge about this or that.
The special effects are rather well-done, though not as slick as American Werewolf In London, as this production had to resort to some animation at one stage of things in the last reel.
December 4, 2013
Favorite werewolf movie thumbs up
November 6, 2013
Haven't seen it since I was a kid, and it turned out a lot better than I remembered! Great acting, cool visuals, awesome effects, engaging story. A really, really cool werewolf flick! RECOMMENDED
July 3, 2008
It's a unique take on werewolf horror that broke new ground with its special effects for the wolf transformations. There are a few references to other films that involve werewolves,, and the premise is frightening.
October 18, 2013
don't see what all the hype was about with these movie, not sure how they made so many of them, it was cheesy and the american werewolf movies are way better than these
April 6, 2006
The storyline wasn't that great. A little dull at times, but great special effects/makeup for the early 80's.
October 7, 2013
A very promising start, in which threads of self-actualization, media tabloidism, serial killer obsession and werewolves all seem to be coming together with a 'Network' kindof framework... that slowly collapses into a hokey, by the numbers horror film, with comic overtones that don't always gel. In a way, the werewolf transformation scene by Rob Bottin, mirrors the film's arc. It begins with a sense of frightening energy barely held in check, but as it reaches it's climax, it just ain't scary. Still, great cast.
August 28, 2013
Unlike its superior 1981 werewolf counterpart, The Howling hasn't aged very well. The movie is often slow, with few scares along the way. It's not bad, but you can find far better genre fare.
January 11, 2009
What a waste of my life. I do not understand why this is herald as one of the best werewolves movies, it really was a terrible story. It wasn't scary and I didn't care about any of the characters.
January 5, 2013
Kinda slow but it has some cool effects.
August 20, 2013
ver pelicula the howling
July 18, 2013
The best werewolf movie!
May 31, 2007
1981 saw the release of what are still the two best werewolf films ever made. While An American Werewolf in London is considered by most to be the better movie, I've always preferred Joe Dante's The Howling. It may lack the tight script of Werewolf in London, but makes up for it in almost every other category. This is an incredibly atmospheric film with plenty of scares, dark humour and a great ensemble cast including Patrick Macnee, Kevin McCarthy and John Carradine (along with cameos by Roger Corman, Dick Miller and Forrest J Ackerman). Of course the real star is Rob Bottin's werewolf makeup. The transformation sequence hasn't aged all that well, but it was the first and most elaborate ever attempted. The werewolf itself, however, is still the most terrifying one ever put to film. The script and pace might be off at times, but this is still one of the best the genre has to offer over 30 years later.
June 6, 2013
It doesn't have the scares of "An American Werewolf in London" to support its humor, but "The Howling" is a wildly entertaining werewolf movie that comes equipped with enough gore, great special effects, and A-list horror names to make up for its lack of serious horror.
June 5, 2013
My favorite movie.........EVER!