The Howling - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Howling Reviews

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½ November 2, 2016
Begins as a story in the NYC red light district with an undercover news anchor meeting with a suspected killer in a seedy video parlor. Wait what movie is this? I thought this was a werewolf movie by the director of Gremlins, not Vice Squad part 2.
Later the movie gets more werewolfy but it's really the last 3rd where the werewolfness really takes off. Some very cool practical special effects. However the movie felt a little disjointed as a whole.
½ October 30, 2016
A very good werewolf movie that has some good moments.
Though it is a bit predictable the transformation sequences were excellent.
October 25, 2016
The special effects are impressive, but it doesn't change the fact that most of the movie is dull, and not really intense.
October 20, 2016
Joe Dante's 1981 film "The Howling" is a great little werewolf feature. It's taken me too many years to finally watch this one, but it is good entertainment. It is probably the lesser of the 1981 werewolf films, but Dante's movie is great and original in it's own way. Great effects, an original take for a werewolf film, and just good solid horror entertainment.
October 7, 2016
1981 saw the release of what are still considered two of the best werewolf films of all time. And while most people I know prefer An American Werewolf in London, I've always had a much softer spot for Joe Dante's The Howling. Both films are filled with a surprising amount of humour, classic horror references and some truly remarkable and groundbreaking makeup effects. I find Dante's film to be far more atmospheric, with beautiful cinematography and lighting, accompanied by an effectively creepy score from Pino Donaggio. The cast is terrific (particularly Dee Wallace), the script is smart, film buffs will love the cameos, and although it's often quite campy the film still has a few great scares. The Howling has aged surprisingly well over the years and Rob Bottin's effects work remains some of the best in the genre. I doubt they'll ever make a better werewolf movie.
October 7, 2016
I wanted more from The Howling... and I wanted it at a more entertaining pace. I'm already hard on werewolf movies & Dee Wallace movies... but I love Joe Dante movies! The Howling, simply, bored me. Of course, some of the visuals are great '80s fun, but they certainly don't age well and I don't have the nostalgia for this film to make them enduring. "Conspiracy" type endings are quite lame as well.
September 16, 2016
This is a classic modern werewolf movie to me. It scared the crap out of me as a kid and a re-watch as an adult, while not as filled with frisson, was no disappointment at all. It's a nicely made film, with good shots and a slightly experimental blending of images for nightmarish, traumatic effect. The setup and pace and little mystery story to it are not super sophisticated or surprising, but effective nonetheless. The initial glimpses of the werewolves flashing forth from the shadows only to disappear again made me think they weren't going to hold up that well. But once you get a sustained view of one later in the film, it's actually quite solid and creepy creature effects. There's a really rad f/x part with a severed werewolf hand that bubbles, deflates, and reinflates as a severed human hand. Pretty nicely done. There's a transmogrification scene that doesn't hold up as well and that suffers from being too long - still, it's pretty good in it's way and it's hokey aspects are entertaining in their unintentionally funny quality. Interestingly, I remember this being a 'sexy' werewolf movie, and it still has that illicit quality in the central 'sex scene' between two people who become werewolves as they get it on in the woods. But what I hadn't remembered was the sexual trauma and menace that opens the film and surrounds that central sex scene. If anything, I was surprised to find that this film is something of a (probably mostly unintentional) commentary on modern porn-soaked rape culture and infidelity culture. Not pleasant viewing in that regard (with a disturbing recurring image of criminal activity), but also effective in creating malaise about our twisted post-sexual-revolution society - if, that is, anyone bothers to look past the more obviously exploitative aspects. A pretty great horror film in general and werewolf film in particular.
July 31, 2016
This is an enjoyable werewolf film from the 80's with good special effects and an actual storyline.
½ July 9, 2016
The Howling is a 1981 horror movie about werewolves. I never really cared much about werewolves, but since I saw American Werewolf in London and loved it, I thought I'd give this one a chance, as well. The story follows Karen White who is stalked by a man called Eddie who is also responsible for the killings of many people, so she's used as bait so Eddie can be stopped once and for all. What she didn't know was that Eddie is, in fact, a werewolf! She's deeply scarred after the incident with Eddie and her psychiatrist suggests a vacation in a colony of his. She goes to the colony with her husband, but not is all well as it seems in the colony. The residents are keeping a very dark secret... The story is interesting enough to keep you entertained, but there are some mistakes in the movie which I noticed that kind of ruined moments that were supposed to be intense. For example, a man buys silver bullets, but uses them in a shotgun and you can see shells fall out of the gun, which makes no sense. Or when he used that shotgun to block the door, but in the next scene he has the shotgun back in his hands, even though he just got rid of it. It ruined the enjoyment a bit, but the effects helped me forget about that. The practical effects look amazing! Every werewolf looks awesome and badass! The whole sequence where Eddie slowly turns into a werewolf (reminded me of the scene from American Werewolf in London) is terrifyingly awesome! There is also quite a nice amount of blood and gore, which surprised me considering how most of the horror movies from that time were pretty tame considering violence. The acting is good, nothing special. The direction is good enough, but I had problems seeing what was happening on screen during some action sequences, almost as if the director tried to make it so we don't see the werewolves clear in these scenes because he knew we would notice it was undeniably very fake. All in all, a pretty good werewolf horror movie with amazing practical effects, an interesting story, but also some flaws which might lower your overall enjoyment of the movie, but not too much.
May 30, 2016
A bit slowly paced at times, but still a game changing werewolf flick with great practical effects.
May 1, 2016
One of the most refreshingly original horror films to date. Fantastic, groundbreaking effects, clever subversion of genre tropes, and a darkly comic atmosphere have made 'The Howling' a horror favorite that never loses its bite.
April 11, 2016
Don't you just hate it when you go on a therapeutic retreat for your PTSD and find out everyone else is actually a werewolf? It's certainly an interesting idea for a movie and I have to applaud the great makeup work on the werewolves themselves.

All that said, I feel like this movie as a bit of a letdown. The acting is commendable, but the plot just feels like it moves from point to point without getting to know most of the charters. They're all interesting enough, but no one really gets the time they need to develop past just interesting. A fair monster movie indeed, but more could definitely be added to flush out these people more.

Though I must say the ending still gets a laugh of me every time. When after she's turned into a werewolf on live TV and the audience's reaction is a mix of 'meh' and 'that's dumb'. That perfectly captures some many people's jaded view of the news and news culture. Bravo, bravo.
March 13, 2016
Directed by Joe Dante. Boring. Not my favorite werewolf movie. Joe Dante has better movies than this.
March 4, 2016
One of the few, best werewolf movies ever made
February 11, 2016
best werewolf more ever
½ February 3, 2016
Silly, funny and frightening '80s horror picture.
December 13, 2015
Joe Dante at his height!
½ November 23, 2015
Never been one of my favorite werewolf movies, but it's a good one. A lot of it probably is thanks to Joe Dante. The twist end has always been great though.
½ November 1, 2015
If I have to watch a werewolf film done right, I'll take The Howling. With the right mix of comedy, creepiness, and paranoia, this film hits the right marks. Although the special effects have become slightly outdated, this film still holds up better than most werewolf films in recent years.
October 25, 2015
This isn't a bad film if you're into werewolf movies, but overall it is overhyped.

It was still enjoyable, but it isn't highly recommend just on a general horror list
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