Night Howl is Michael Taylor Pritt's fourth full-length film, and first werewolf flick. This Kentucky-based director/actor has been, for not all that long, a favorite of mine when it comes to low-budget horror. Night Howl shows great improvement over his last movie (the disappointing Are We the Waiting), and is perhaps the best movie he's done thus far.
Pritt's films are fun, in part, because he almost always uses the same faces again and again. Night Howl's no different, with no less than six recurring actors from his other three films (one, of course, being himself). That said, some of the strongest acting comes from a new face.
With Night Howl being her first credit on IMDb, Alana Mullins really stole the show, her lines well-done and more so, came across as a really fun person. I certainly hope that this isn't just a one-off, and she decides to get behind the camera more. She worked damn well with Michael Taylor Pritt, and was overall a fun presences on screen.
As for Pritt, his acting is just as it's always been. Which I certainly don't mean negatively - Pritt's low-key style, in my opinion, is rather amusing, and his wry humor that pops up here and again is always good fun. The only other actor who really stood out was Andrew Potter, who's one downside was not enough background for his character. Which isn't to say that all the cast members didn't put their heart into this one. I adored Pat Roberts, playing a moderately foul-mouthed older woman. She also needed more screen time, alas.
The story itself wasn't overly unique, but I do certainly like the approach they took. I thought it worked out well, and more surprisingly, perhaps, there was some real feeling toward the end (partially helped by a low-key but enjoyable score). The ending, in many ways, depressed the hell out of me, which goes to show you don't need a high budget for feels.
The main downside of the film is the lack of inventive, or even interesting, kills. I guess there's not much you can do with a werewolf to begin with, but I certainly felt as though these kills were more repetitive than those of Pritt's past movies. Hell, Are the the Waiting's strongest suit, in my view, were the kills. Still, a good story with solid acting is more important than great gore, but it would have been nice to have something more in this department.
When all's said and done, though, Night Howl was a well done flick on a low budget. The gag reels thrown in the end were amusing, and I just loved Mullins' character. I've seen all four of Pritt's movies thus far, and this is up there with Miles Before Sleep (his second outing). Hard to say which I liked more, as both had very strong points, but Night Howl was a strong film that I'd recommend to fans of lower-budget flicks. 7.5/10 (rounded up to 8/10 to fit site's format).