BBFC Rating: 18
Director: John Landis
Cast: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter and Joe Belcher
Its a full moon and that means a were wolf is on the prowl. Be sure to stick to the roads and keep your eyes peeled for a big hairy wolf like creature the size of two men. Scared yet? You should be!
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American werewolf, follows the story of an American hiker. Who, whilst walking with his friend, is attacked by what he believes to be a wolf. The truth however turns out to be much worse. After much time in rehabilitation it soon becomes clear to our main character, David, that this foul creature has killed his friend and unfortunately left him not completely with out scars of his own.
The film succeeds in creating an instant connection with the two main characters. Their camaraderie is enjoyably heart warming, however it starts to fade through out the film. Although they did have great chemistry I would say the strongest 'actor' in the film was John Woodvine; he plays the inquisitive Doctor and looks after David during his supposed recovery. I think that the way he managed to bring such character and enthusiasm to what was really just a supporting role was truly exciting and made him really stand out.
Another group of actors in this film that shone for me would be the Yorkshire village folk. They brought a great sense of gritty realism to a movie, that with out which, may have become a less intelligent slasher film. The cast includes a couple of famous character actors such as Rick Mayall, who some may know from the recent Bombardier ad's and also Brian Glover a wrestler come character actor who also starred in a film called KES, in the 70's.
- Great Camera Work!
- Great Soundtrack!
- Amazing Make Up!
In my opinion, one of the main reasons a lot of horrors films from the 70's, 80's and earlier are truly terrifying is due to the realistic make up. American were wolf did not disappoint. Davids transformation scene was something quite spectacular, it had me wincing in pain. I really believe that there is something incredibly haunting about the use of actual make up and prosthetics as oppose to computer generated imagery (CGI).
There isn't much that could have been improved with this epic horror monster flick. I would say however that this film could maybe do with further development in terms of narrative. I felt questions such as why he had become a werewolf and also why he was the only remaining werewolf in the world were slightly over looked.
Its one of those films that will never age. Although the costumes and aesthetics may become more alien to us, the fear and raw animal instincts portrayed in this film will for ever be talked about and hopefully reused and developed in films of the future.
Other films you may be interested in:
I haven't seen this film,
If its Higher production
values your after with a
similar killer story then
this is probably another
film to watch!