Blu-Ray Review: The Howling

Werewolf movies have become a popular sub-genre of horror cinema. Whilst they’ve been knocking around for a while, it probably wasn’t until the 1980’s that they seeped into popular culture (who can forget Teen Wolf?). Whilst not the most cinematic subject, An American Werewolf in London, Ginger Snaps and Dog Soldiers demonstrated what could be achieved with a little thought and creativity. Whilst the Underworld and Twilight films (and whatever Channing Tatum was meant to be in Jupiter Ascending) show their continuing pull. When it comes to the most complete lycanthrope film, there’s arguably none better than The Howling.

Karen White (Dee Wallace), an LA news anchor, is being stalked by a serial killer called Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo). She’s persuaded to act as bait to catch Eddie, but the plan goes awry and she’s only rescued at the last minute. Not before she witnesses something horrific, but the shock causes her to suffer amnesia. Her therapist, Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee), advises Karen and her husband (Christopher Stone) to spend some time at The Colony; a secluded new age retreat. However, things soon start to get extremely hairy.

Very loosely adapted from Gary Brandner’s novel of the same name, The Howling still holds up today as one of the greatest werewolf films. Directed by Joe Dante, it still feels tense and scary without looking at all dated or cheap. Indeed, Rob Bottin’s special effects, especially the transformation, are some of the best you’ll see. The new restoration is fantastic, giving it a new lease of life. The Howling is a tense and fighting slice of horror, which gives you plenty to get your teeth into.

Brand New Extras:

  • Howlings Eternal with Producer Steven A. Lane
  • Cut to Shreds with Editor Mark Goldblatt
  • Interview with Co-writer Terence Winkless
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: A Look at the Film’s Locations
  • Interview with Stop-Motion Animator David Allen
  • Audio Commentary with Author Gary Brandner

The Howling is released on DVD, Blu-ray and on Digital download by Studiocanal and is available now.

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