Hey Looters! If you didn’t already know, this month’s Loot Crate features the classic Universal Monsters: Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula. This top fives covers one of my favorite horror genres, werewolves! Surprisingly, I had a difficult time finding werewolf movies that weren’t low budget b-movies or Twilight. But here are some pretty good ones to add to your Halloween watchlist.
The Wolf Man (1941)
I actually enjoyed this film a lot. I was a little skeptical that it would be dated but it was enjoyable! The movie starts out pretty light hearted with the protagonist making many attempts to try and date an engaged woman. Then it gets real dark when they run into some gypsies. One thing that stood out to me the most was how good the cinematography was in the film. It definitley went heavy on the a high key light and contrasty shadows. There’s also a cool cameo from the famed Bela Legosi.
The Wolfman (2010)
Now, hear me out. At the time this film did terrible among audiences and critics but it’s honestly pretty good. It did have a number of hang ups during the production between multiple reshoots and changes to the release dates, editing changes, and a lot more. The performances from Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving were top notch. It’s always a treat to see Hopkins hop into a villain role. The scene where Benicio is strapped in the chair in the observation room and yells ” Even though a few of the transformations and fights were CGI, I really liked the practical makeup look on the Wolfman too.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
This film felt like the 28 Days Later of werewolf films. A gritty, low budget, and British horror movie. This was director Neil Marshall’s first feature and it isn’t a bad one. The look of the werewolves is interesting because they go for a more dog-like appearance and less of a combination of human/dog look. The film manages to balance funny one liners like when one of the soldiers throws a stick for a werewolf and yells “fetch!,” with a commentary on the human condition with some of the soldiers deciding to sacrifice themselves after being bitten.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Ok, this isn’t the most “horrifying” werewolf movie but it was a fun watch. It’s basically an average 80s movie plot except the main character is a werewolf. It still takes some elements of the lore with (*spoiler) Scott Howard’s dad also being a werewolf similar to the original The Wolf Man (1941) film. One of my favorite moments in the movie is the basketball scene where everyone sees Scott transform. All the students and spectators are in shock for a moment but then Scott starts winning and they all don’t care he’s a werewolf. Also, I guess being a werewolf gives you Michael Jordan level basketball skills.
American Werewolf in London (1981)
I’ve brought this movie up before in our Comedy Horror blog but it really is a great werewolf movie. There’s a strange element of comedy and an amazing werewolf transition with practical effects. There are a couple things that I found make this movie unique. First is the ghosts of the werewolf victims (including his own) following David around and begging him to end the curse. David is forced to live with the guilt of abandoning his best friend and given the responsibility to end the wolf’s bloodline by killing himself. The other element is the overall pacing of the movie. It takes the film about 30 minutes until you see the werewolf (and he’s not on screen too often), but when he does appear he makes a huge impact on screen.