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Howl (2015)


November 21, 2015 - 8:33pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Ed Speleers, Howl, Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler, Paul Hyett, Rosie Day, Ryan Oliva, Sam Gittins, Shauna MacDonald, Starchild Pictures, uk, werewolf

Your rating: None Average: 6.6 (9 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
6
howlart2.jpg

Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
Paul Hyett
Cast: 
Rosie Day, Ryan Oliva, Sam Gittins, Ed Speleers, Shauna Macdonald


The Werewolf subgenre is something filmmakers seem to have a lot of trouble with, especially lately. Though a couple interesting recent efforts like Wer and Late Phases are among those that I'd probably consider "good," the rest of what we tend to get from the genre can be referred to as shitty or mediocre, at best. From the trailer Howl looked promising, so I went in hopeful. The movie wasn't bad, but had a lot of little problems that left me rather disappointed.

The film's story follows a down-on-his-luck ticket collector named Joe, whose seemingly mundane life is filled with a never-ending slew of rude and inconsiderate passengers, specifically on this last train out of London. It seems like just another tedious night for poor Joe until the train comes to a sudden halt. Apparently some kind of obstruction on the tracks has led the conductor to stop the train and he decides to go out and investigate, leaving Joe and the remaining passengers on board. And as expected, the conductor doesn't make it back to the train (R.I.P.).

Now there's a lot of upset people stranded with nothing but forest all around them and to make matters worse there's some kind of wild animal outside and it's definitely not friendly (proven by nearly killing one passenger). What they don't realize is that the "wild animal" is in fact a werewolf, and his furry buddies aren't too far behind.

Howl is a movie that takes a little too long building up its characters, which normally wouldn't be much of a problem, but here just seemed to drag and offered nothing but unlikable characters that I just wanted to die already. It's not until 30 minutes that these people realize the extent of their situation and it's not until ANOTHER 30 that we get to see what's actually been harassing these passengers. So essentially the first hour consists of a lot of bickering back and forth while they're holed up in one of the passenger cars.

Finally after an hour of waiting we get to see how these werewolves look and its... well, not pretty. While I admire that they went the practical effects route, the werewolf just looked too weird and bulky. It literally looked like just some ugly long-haired body builder. Luckily that oddity wasn't the final form of these wolves, and the more elder, feral beasts actually looked pretty cool, especially when they're mostly covered in the shadows and we just see their glowing eyes (pretty awesome and creepy looking). I'll also add that there's some decent gore, which should be a requirement with any werewolf movie anyway. Aside from that there's just too many pacing issues to warrant a more positive critique from me.

Howl is a decent werewolf movie that delivers some alright looking wolves and nice practical effects (in parts). Unfortunately you'll have to sit through a lot of slow paced scenes and and an hour of bickering between a bunch of unlikable characters before it goes anywhere.

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UHMfans/

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