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THE HOWLING
1981 / Horror
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Directed by Joe Dante
Written by John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless
Starring Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone and Belinda Balaski

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

The following tags are associated with this movie: werewolves, novel
The Howling (1981)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

6 / 10
I'm not a huge fan of werewolf movies in general, so there's already that hurdle to get over for a movie of this subgenre to win my affection. I felt that for almost the first hour of the movie, it was rather dull. I didn't really enjoy any of the characters, I didn't connect with the suspense that they were trying to build and while there was some werewolf action, it was quite minimal.

The last half hour is good and has some nice practical effects in the werewolf scenes. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for me to go beyond calling this an okay movie. I understand why other people enjoy it but werewolf movies just don't do it for me, I guess.
The Howling (1981)
Review by Michael Mahoney

6 / 10
I saw this movie once many years ago, and I didn't care for it then. Upon rewatching it, my views haven't really altered all that much.

The Howling has more than a few positive qualities. Plenty of the actors and actresses are either good or fun, the special effects are very well done, there are some tense scenes, and the setting itself (forest retreat) is pretty decent.

Dee Wallace did a very good job, especially near the beginning, of a woman suffering from the aftermath of a violent attack. I didn't really care for where the story took her, but still, she did a solid job. Patrick Macnee stood out also, as did Belinda Balaski, who, along with being a rather attractive woman, was one of the few characters really trying to figure out what was going on. And need I mention Dick Miller? His appearances are always fun, and this one was no different.

The special effects certainly were top-notch, with good werewolf transformations and severed arms. Really, if there's one reason to watch this film, it's probably for what they were able to do as far as the effects went, as even by today's stands, they're impressive.

The problem is, though, despite the positives (the Colony, in concept, was cool, for instance), this movie just didn't jibe well with me. I'm not sure what it is - it has elements I rather like throughout the film, but it just didn't work for me.

Often hailed as a werewolf classic (which, let's be honest, isn't that much an accomplishment), The Howling didn't do much for me. It had a memorable ending, memorable transformations, memorable actors. But the movie just falls flat, despite all that, and end up well below average. 5.5/10 (rounded up to 6/10 to fit site's format).
More releases from 1981 for you to check out


Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)


Halloween II (1981)


Murder Obsession (1981)


Enter the Ninja (1981)




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