Monday, October 8, 2012

Movie Review: The Howling: Reborn

 A lot of people have dumped on this film.  Frankly, I was not expecting much when I watched it.  The first Howling was the only film in the franchise really worth seeing, and then only because of its novel and grisly special effects.  The 2nd film of the franchise was just riding on the interest in the first, and the third film was about as far removed from the first two as you could get.

 This film, which is actually based on the second book, was far better than I expected.  First, the production value of the film itself was high for a direct-to-dvd production.  The story was engaging and the acting was well-done by all.  Where it was disappointing was in its failure to live-up to the marks set by the first film, being neither very sexy nor very gory.

I would be wondering what other werewolf got to her first.
 The story is about a young man during his Senior Year in high school who discovers that he is a werewolf.  The first thing that seems a little off, other than the pregnant woman being attacked by a werewolf, is that the school in question has what can only be described as an anti-zombie security system.  When the system is armed, the entire school (every window and door) is seal with a metal shutter.  A bit fantastic and arguably unnecessary, but not so much as to take you out of the film. 

Cool Halloween costumes.
 The film presents a nice, if often used, segue into describing the werewolf.  The protagonist's best-friend is an armature film-maker who has been making films about werewolves.  He explains all there is to know about werewolves; they change during the full-moon, can transmit their curse via a scratch/bite/fluid exchange, and can only be killed by silver and fire.  A new wrinkle is added to the mythology with the introduction of the "alpha" werewolf, who can only be killed by another werewolf.  I would assume that this is a werewolf either descended from the original line (pure-breed vs. transformed), or one who is born a werewolf instead of being changed.  

Eww... Dog breath.
 The film's biggest weakness is the presentation of the werewolf itself.  I give it marks for attempting to make use of old-school special-effects; the werewolves are latex outfits.  The film tries to make the use of rubber-costumes less obvious by keeping the monsters to darkness and shadows throughout most of the film.  Unfortunately, the monster must eventually be revealed, and the one-piece mask is a little difficult to pull-off as convincingly alive.  

 If you can ignore these flaws, then the Howling: Reborn is a good werewolf story.  If your looking for something akin to The Howling, then my only suggestion is to keep looking.

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