PLOT: After an encounter with a serial killer, a news reporter is sent to the country for relaxation, but encounters a group of werewolves that have been hiding out in the woods.
Compared to other subgenres, there aren’t that many werewolf movies around. Sure, there’s The Wolfman, American Werewolf in London, Ginger Snaps, and some others, but if you compare it to, say, vampires, it’s not even close.
The Howling is a solid entry into this genre. Directed by Joe Dante, you can always assume that what he’s putting out is of a certain quality, especially in the 1980s, when he was churning out movies like this, Gremlins, Innerspace, and The ‘Burbs. In addition, this film is penned by John Sayles, whom also worked with Dante on Piranha, and is also known for the dramas Return of the Secaucus Seven, Matewan, and Eight Men Out. So the talent behind the camera is unquestioned, and when you add veteran horror actress Dee Wallace and Joe Dante favorite Dick Miller in this, you can be sure this one is worth your time.
There are some cool effects in this. It’s not overly bloody, but there’s a part where a werewolf arm gets cut off and it transitions back to a human arm. It’s pretty decent.
Gore Rating: 2.5 out of 5
This one has some pretty good transformation sequences, though we’re not talking American Werewolf in London here. Once the transformation is complete, the werewolves are imposing, but they’re obviously just guys in suits.
Scare Rating: 3 out of 5
The serial killer shows the reporter a snuff film he made and there’s a sex scene between two werewolves that starts with full frontal nudity.
Sex/Nudity Rating: 4 out of 5
I had a good time with The Howling, though I wouldn’t say it really goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a werewolf movie. It’s got some pretty decent effects and transformation scenes, though, which is always welcome for these films.