The Company of Wolves - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Company of Wolves Reviews

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January 4, 2018
Strange as surreal take on Little Red Riding Hood. It's kind of disjointed with the multiple levels and tales inside dreams, it's hard to tell what's ever actually going on. But there are some quality sequences. And the sexual awakening undertone is interesting.
½ September 9, 2017
In this schlocky 80s midnight movie, Little Red Riding Hood meets more than her fair share of big bad wolves, albeit most of them played by poorly-disguised dogs.
Simply put, The Company of Wolves is a musty children's fantasy film featuring a handful of outrageously out-of-place werewolf transformation sequences. These sequences are amongst the greatest and grizzliest ever to have gone straight to VHS, with genuinely astonishing animatronics and cringe-inducing gore. The remainder of the film, however, is a wishy-washy tale of whimsical grannies and mythical monobrowed man-wolves.
To make things worse, most of the action takes place in a dusty 'middle age' realm of paper mache mushrooms and sporadic dry ice cannons. To make things worse than worse, the whole thing is bookended by shots of a modern-day version of the main character sleeping, raising such pointless narrative and philosophical dilemmas as is-she-or-isn't-she-dreaming? and will-she-or-won't-she-wake-up?
Inevitably, the answers to both are useless, underwhelming and unnecessary. Nevertheless, the film itself ought to be noted down by all pissed-off parents who fancy giving their snivelling kids the fright of their lives next time they start whining.
½ February 26, 2017
Medieval old woman tells tales to her young granddaughter about werewolves and never to stray from the path in the forest causing nightmares. Borrows from the Little Red Riding Hood story. Disjointed mess for the most part despite a couple moments of nice special effects.
½ August 27, 2016
The Company of Wolves is a bizarre and haunting spin on the Red Riding Hood (among other) stories - an unsettling tale of morbid temptations and sexual awakening.
½ June 21, 2016
Fairy tale/fantasy partly revolving around the Little Red Riding Hood nursery rhyme, although certainly not aimed at children. A bit confusing with multiple tales but well filmed with some good special effects to bolster the proceedings. Released during a highpoint in the werewolf genre.
January 23, 2016
This is a Werewolf retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" from Neil Jordan("Interview with a Vampire") that is fantasy/horror.. It's not great, but it's interesting and I liked the old school special effects, it also stars Angela Lansbury and Stephen Rea. Worth a watch for fans of the genre only.
November 19, 2015
The Company of Wolves, released in 1985, is a fantastically dark and surreal fairy tale about the dangers lurking in the deep, dark woods for young girls, especially ones that wear red hoods and venture to grandmother's house, but this movie is more than just an adult reworking of Little Red Riding Hood. Directed by Neil Jordan and co-written by Jordan and Angela Carter, from Carter's story of the same name, The Company of Wolves brings to the forefront the warnings and hidden truths that make fairy tales a fount of childhood nightmares. The entire movie itself is one young girl's nightmare.

The film begins at a home in the English countryside but quickly moves into the dream of teenage Rosaleen. Her dream will more than once slip into nightmare territory. No part of the peasant village or the woods where her dream takes place ever feels entirely safe. There is no specific time period for the village setting; it seems to take place "once upon a time..." Everything about her dream, and thus the movie, feels simultaneously familiar and strange. Everything feels like a distorted reflection of a waking counterpart. As her dream begins we see her sister being chased by wolves running past distorted, surreal versions of thing in Rosaleen's room, like the giant stuffed bear that tries to grab her.

Rosaleen spends much of her time with her Granny, played with great but subtle authority by Angela Lansbury, listening to her stories. Granny is full of wisdom both practical (never eat a windblown apple) and cryptic (never trust a man whose eyebrows meet, he'll show his true nature in the moonlight). She never hides the darker side of life from her granddaughter. Granny begins her stories with, yes, "once upon a time..." When Rosaleen asks if a young bride and groom in a story live happily ever after, Granny replies quickly, "Indeed they did not!" The groom showed his true beastly nature on their wedding night.

Because The Company of Wolves takes place in a dream, many things are possible and it could delve into the wildly fantastic but it is smart enough to restrain itself. The village and surrounding dark woods were built and shot on soundstages and though everything looks clearly artificial it all feels right for Rosaleen's dream. The sets are dark, nightmarish, and macabre, but also familiar. Since the setting and characters are from the realm of the familiar, we are jarred when the surreal and macabre poke into Rosaleen's world. She finds that an egg in a bird's nest hatches into something made of stone. Rosaleen's father returns from hunting and killing the wolf that killed her sister with its severed paw of as a trophy. It was a paw when he took it, he says, but the trophy has turned into a human hand.

This is a different kind of werewolf movie. It seems that any man can change into a wolf and any wolf can change into a man, not because of a bite or a curse, but because of their true, hidden nature. There is a confrontation at the climax of the film when Rosaleen sets off to Granny's house in her red hood and on the path meets a man whose eyebrows meet. It plays out very differently than the traditional fairy tale. The words of Rosaleen's mother echo through the final act: "You pay too much attention to your granny. She knows a lot but she doesn't know everything. And if there's a beast in men, it meets its match in women too."

The Company of Wolves is a wonderful nightmare. I've seen very few films that successfully convey how a dream can feel completely bizarre and utterly real at the same time. Everything makes sense as it is happening even if you don't know why or how it is happening or what will happen next. You might think that because the movie is a dream there is no weight to the scenes or no real danger to Rosaleen. However, every encounter and experience Rosaleen has are rooted in very real fears and anxieties that the sleeping adolescent Rosaleen likely does not yet fully understand. Even if they came to her in a dream, the lessons of Granny's stories are very real. This is horror that does not make you jump out of your seat or shut your eyes. This is horror that wants to disturb and stir the thoughts buried deep down in your mind.
October 14, 2015
the freakiest scene is only in the first 20 min but the rest of the film has no real emphasis on the horror
there's a lot of melodrama that's a bit unnecessary
and we're supposed to treat this like a dream sequence
still they have the darker, scarier aspect of the Red Riding Hood story nailed down
everything is gothic, eerie, foggy, and despite looking like obvious sets have the uncomfortable environment in the woods
the music is also very haunting going with the whole wolf element
it's a shame though that Angela Lansbury, Stephen Rea and Terrence Stamp aren't used to their full degree
what you do take away from this is don't be in the company of strangers otherwise people around you get hurt or you do
it's a bunch of stories that seem weirdly tied together
Neil Jordan does have the surrealism here though it might be very unusual for a lot of viewers
I just wanted to be more frightened and impressed
½ March 24, 2015 was interesting to start, but not great, until I noticed the theme of the film. It's all based on men, chasing after this coming of age girl, as they each are monstrous wolves in their own right. The idea is that men find a young woman as fresh prey and become monsters to get her. Very interesting... although, the film does not stand up as the years have gone by, and a good remake would be something to watch. I say the film missed, as the story was slow, and you didn't really know where it was going. but the theme is a pretty great one.
½ March 15, 2015
Such a good premise but it doesn't pull it off...the terrible performances are not helped by a seriously naff script. The only saving grace is it's running time and some gruesome special effects.
January 18, 2015
Una de las primeras peliculas que vi , que me dió miedo , era un crio.
½ October 17, 2014
A strange and unforgettable movie that could only have been made in the '80's. A very good werewolf story with some creepy imagery and solid performances and a framing story that made no sense to me. I just can't get it out of my head.
April 27, 2014
"Once you stray from the path you're lost entirely." If red riding hood listened to grandma we'de have no story.
True to fairy tales of the time with a rather dark twist. I enjoyed the animatronics and found the first transformation quite shocking.
April 10, 2014
It kept threatening to transcend the silliness, and then some ridiculous thing would happen or another terrible set would appear and I just couldn't deal with it. Jordan's work in the editing room is quite good, and I liked the convoluted, heavily folded narrative. But it was just so, so silly, and not in an entertaining way, sadly. The wolves/dogs gave the best performances in the whole movie.
March 25, 2014
Interesting with some very memorable scenes, but it lacked a consistent mood and compelling story.
February 17, 2014
Alegorica, cruel e hipnotica, la mejor de su director.
January 11, 2014
Gave this another look for the Halloween '09 season, and man it's every but as eerie and surreal as it was all those years ago on VHS.

Dreamy and unsettling, drifting through a world of fantasy, this is a wonderful mood piece, filled with practical effects, old world superstitions and Gothic style to burn.

Happy to finally have a Blu-ray release of it, even if it had to be imported.

Highly recommended.
December 6, 2013
Lackluster ensemble of wolf related stories, none of which ever capture the imagination.
September 13, 2013
Neil Jordan's Werewolf Film Takes It's Main Background From Red Riding Hood Which Is A Great Source Of Werewolf Films. Jordan's Film Revolves Around A Young Girl Rosaleen AKA Red Riding Hood And Her Granny (Played By Angela Lansbury). Rosaleen Starts To Have Nightmares After Her Older Sister Is Killed By Wolves, When Staying With Her Gran, She Is Taught Through Apparantly True Stories That Werewolves Exist.
A Smart Anthology Film Which Is Bookeneded By The Story Of Red Riding Hood. And Is The Best Film Version Of The Classic Fairy Tale.
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