An American Werewolf in London

Critics Consensus

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

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 54

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 115,513

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Movie Info

David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), two American college students, are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks them. David survives with a bite, but Jack is brutally killed. As David heals in the hospital, he's plagued by violent nightmares of his mutilated friend, who warns David that he is becoming a werewolf. When David discovers the horrible truth, he contemplates committing suicide before the next full moon causes him to transform from man to murderous beast.

Cast & Crew

David Naughton
David Kessler
Jenny Agutter
Nurse Alex Price
Griffin Dunne
Jack Goodman
Brian Glover
Chess Player
Paul Kember
Sergeant McManus
Don McKillop
Inspector Villiers
Frank Oz
Mr. Collins, Miss Piggy
Voice
Peter Guber
Executive Producer
Jon Peters
Executive Producer
Elmer Bernstein
Original Music
Robert Paynter
Cinematographer
Leslie Dilley
Art Direction
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News & Interviews for An American Werewolf in London

Critic Reviews for An American Werewolf in London

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (47) | Rotten (7)

  • David's writhing discomfort in his own skin marks not just the monstrous metamorphosis in and of genre, but also that deep sense of estrangement experienced by any well-meaning if gauche tourist tripping up on local lore and mores.

    October 29, 2019 | Full Review…
  • I suspect Landis hoped to keep moviegoers eerily disarmed with an unpredictable mixture of wacky and terrifying touches. Unfortunately, his own touch... is so slack and uncertain that the movie ends up dramatically shapeless.

    May 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Toby Young

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • 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 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for An American Werewolf in London

  • Dec 02, 2012
    I think that "An American Werewolf in London" could have used more of a focus on its storytelling rather than its visual effects, but then again, maybe not. It half-parodies the werewolf films that came before it by following along their narrative arcs, so deviating from the classic formula might have made it less effective. Both its humor and scares are of the mildest kind, and though it's slightly memorable for its groundbreaking makeup and special effects, "An American Werewolf in London" is just pretty average. I think that the ending's abruptness might be its funniest part.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2012
    "An American Werewolf In London" is a blast of hilarity, fun characters, and a legendary wolf transformation that will make you howl! This is not a scary film (although, it does have it's moments), but oh what a blast this film is!
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 17, 2012
    This film felt like a mix of many other prior and later films. The concepts and some scenes were similar to those in Fearless Vampire Killers. I actually enjoyed this one though. The scare tactics were much like those in the second poltergeist. And the humor was so similar to a movie I love the original Fright Night. The credits to this film had campy fun music. This was placed right after a sad scene. Without a fade out or anything. Almost as if Landis didn't know what he was doing. But he did, and the credits even added to the tune of the film. I recommend this as a late night comedy, for almost every age group. This is (for a lack of a better word) a fun movie.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2012
    John Landis was at the peak of his talents here including Rick Baker. The film is a hybrid of genres that most films to this day still struggle with this blending. I hear whispers of a reboot with Max Landis but I wish they would leave this film alone as it is a film of its time. The film still has relevance and is hilarious and very sharp with the Werewolf scenes, the transformation scene is just incredible. I wish more horror films could aspire to this timeless status, just one of those films that will live on. 30-12-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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