2012 Film Challenge #5 - The Howling

Clunky technology, an abundance of moustaches, that hazy washed-out neon soaked feel – everything in this film tasted strongly of orange-flavoured milk.

This 80s sheen, I found, served to overpower a lot of the visceral grittiness necessary for films like this to work. It felt slightly anaemic, as a result – despite the marvellous woodland beachhead setting which could, with slightly different production values, have made for a wonderfully earthy Friday the 13th sort of atmosphere.

But still. This is less “missed opportunity” than a perfectly decent product of its time. It was full of glorious little details – like the morgue worker who leaves his sandwiches next to the brain he's dissecting, the amazing occult book shop (which I really want to visit) which comes complete with a couple of disdainful nuns, and that truly mouthwatering closing shot.

And the werewolf transformation scene is certainly impressive. It's not as good as An American Werewolf in London, but Christ, it makes the Twilight Saga look like an embarrassment for humanity in general (but then, what doesn't?).

Thinking about it, it's about on par with Michael Jackson's transformation in the Thriller video.

But why our heroine stops to watch rather than bolting immediately is just one of those things.

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