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Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.
All Critics (51)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (45)
| Rotten (6)
| DVD (16)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An American Werewolf in London 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.
Aside from the special effects, this film is a fun time at the movies, but not as memorable as other horror classics.
It feels increasingly like a symbol of traveler abroad alienation-what trying to live in a place that isn't home can feel like: confusing, rageful, even physically debilitating.
John Landis teaches us two things in An American Werewolf in London (1981): turning into a werewolf is a very painful process, and the dead are boring!
A film that, despite 35 years of evolution in special effects, do not surpass the carnal naturalness of this one. [Full review in Spanish]
Landis maintains the delicate balance between horror and humor until the final scene's gratuitous series of car crashes.
Director John Landis here pulls off the difficult trick of revitalising the horror genre while parodying it at the same time.
These excessively gory horror films of the 1980's have either been extreme turn on or off for me. "An American Werewolf in London" is a definite plus to it's genre. Helming some genuinely creepy practical effects and some fantastic gore, this is one horror film that will never feel dated. As two friends arrive in London, they are attacked by a wolf. While one comes back as a zombie, the other must face the fact that he will turn into a werewolf at each moon's first light unless he kills himself. With a dark story, there are some very charming moments peppered throughout this picture. I had a blast watching this film and I would highly recommend it to any horror fans out there. With a script you don't have to take too seriously and direction that is clearly poking fun while staying creepy, "An American Werewolf in London" is great! If I had to fault it, it would be the fact that it takes far too long to build up to the conclusion. Overall, it is a very fun time.
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.
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
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.
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