While I had heard some good stuff about the werewolf flick, Howl, I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Here’s a move that takes the werewolf myth and does NOT mess with as is the popular way to "update" genres and monsters. Howl just enjoys playing with the myth and using it to scary, often gory advantage. That means you don’t have to sit there and say, “yeah but that’s not a werewolf trait”. You can sit back and enjoy the concept of a werewolf on a train in the middle of nowhere. Alchemy has a winner here that looks great on Blu-ray and has plenty of drippy, gooey guts to make the ghouls happy.
Howl may be a fairly straightforward werewolf/siege flick that happens to take place on a train; that doesn’t make it ordinary. It makes a novel change to the wolf appearance. Howl doesn’t go for the typical wolfman look a la Universal nor does it go for a realistic wolf looking attacker. These guys went for a crossover between Howling werewolves crossed with almost human looking monsters that were not quite as hairy, but terrifying in the face. They aren’t humans. They aren’t wolves. They are an original take on the 80’s werewolf that really works.
All performances are solid. The effects are quite lovely especially the more practical effects. There are some CG effects used due to budgetary restraint, but those should not overshadow the mastery of the monster makeup that seems to hearken back to the great days of effects masters Bottin and Baker.
The disc looks great in HD and includes some nice extras including interviews. Best extra: the creature creation extra. This is a must watch when you finish the movie.
I feel it’s worth noting that the music feels often too ethereal for the whole production. I felt like I was listening to a Gothic Rock album in high school which could have been supplanted for a more straight forward score that could have shocked me more. It doesn’t drag through the whole movie, so it isn’t damning.
You can order Howl now:
Alchemy is thrilled to announce the home entertainment release of the haunting thriller, HOWL starring Ed Speelers (TV’s “Downton Abbey”, upcoming Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) Shauna Macdonald, Sean Pertwee (TV’s “Gotham”), Holly Weston and Elliot Cowan. HOWL is directed by master SFX artist and make up designer, Paul Hyett (The Descent, The Woman in Black) and written by Mark Huckberby and Nick Ostler. The film has a running time of 93 minutes, is not rated and will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Early EST on January 12, 2016.