The Howling (1981)

  • Horror
  • 1h 31m

1981 was a bumper year for werewolf fans – while John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London may be the more famous of the two, there is also plenty to enjoy in The Howling’s tale of werewolves run rampant at a new-age retreat in the Californian wilderness.

Directed by Joe Dante, who would go on to put those creature-feature skills to good use 3 years later with Christmas classic Gremlins, interestingly_ The Howling_ also isn’t too far from _American Werewolf _comedy-horror territory, both films employing a pitch-black sense of humour in tandem with jaw-dropping practical effects (credited in this film to then-21-year-old Rob Bottin).

After a genuinely creepy opening set in the sleazy night-time world of adult stores and peep shows (another curious case of serendipity with American Werewolf), it isn’t too long before the werewolf action kicks off and Dante throws everything at the all-important transformation set-pieces (including actual cel animation at one point), before bringing the film home for the hugely entertaining, characteristically witty and anti-consumerist finale.


Joe Dante


English, Spanish