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86.67% Score
by Horror Fans Based on 6 Reviews
The Howling

In Theatre : April 10, 1981
Director(s): Joe Dante

This groundbreaking, darkly-comic horror film from director Joe Dante changed the look and feel of werewolf movies in ways light-years distant from Universal's horror classic The Wolf Man. The story begins with television reporter/anchor Karen White (Dee Wallace) taking part in a dangerous police operation intended to trap psychopath Eddie Quist (Robert Picardo). When confronted by Eddie face-to-face, she witnesses something horrifying enough to trigger selective amnesia.

Plagued by a series of violent nightmares, Karen decides to admit herself to a posh recovery resort known only as "The Colony," run by her eccentric New Age therapist Dr. Wagner (Patrick MacNee), and brings along her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) for support. The night after they arrive, Karen and Bill are unnerved by eerie howling in the woods.

Back in the city, Karen's coworkers Chris (Dennis Dugan) and Terry (Belinda Balaski) have been investigating Eddie's background after discovering that his body has disappeared from the morgue. Sifting through Eddie's possessions, they find a strange collection of artwork depicting wolf-like creatures, and decide to consult with Walter Paisley (Dick Miller, of course), the owner of an occult bookshop, on werewolf lore. Though he claims not to believe in the stuff he's selling, Paisley nevertheless convinces Chris to purchase a handful of silver bullets... just in case.

Back at the colony, Dr. Wagner has organized a hunting party after hearing Karen's account of the nocturnal howling, but the men find nothing but a rabbit, which Bill is told to bring to the cabin of the sultry Marsha (Elizabeth Brooks) to prepare for dinner. After resisting Marsha's less-than-subtle sexual overtures, Bill is attacked by a wolf while returning to his cabin. The following moonlit night, the sleepless Bill wanders outside to find Marsha waiting and the two make love by the campfire, their bodies undergoing a frightening transformation.

Just as Karen is beginning to suspect that her husband is hiding a secret far more threatening than marital infidelity, Chris and Terry have come to realize -- too late, in Terry's case -- that Eddie Quist is not only still alive, but not quite human... and he knows he's being followed. Chris arrives at the colony too late to save Terry, but manages to find Karen just as the colony's residents -- all of whom are werewolves, including Dr. Wagner -- are assembling to decide her fate.

Dante fills his film with heartfelt homages to The Wolf Man and other classic horror movies, as well as a few clever visual puns and in-jokes from his tenure with Roger Corman, but never strays from the path to genuine horror, particularly when Rob Bottin's chilling monsters are onscreen.

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Related The Howling Movie Reviews
Critic reviews are fantastic and we have many great critics but our community members ARE the horror audience and it is their reviews that really tell you if a film is worth watching.

The Howling Review by Moviemaven

This film brings back a horde of wonderful memories for me. I remember watching it repeatedly as a child and being mesmerized by Eddie's transformation. Because of this film (and others like it) werewolf movies have beco...
The Howling Review by Norrock The Zombie Eater

Wherewolfs are a big part of halloween. Why?. Well because they give one hell of a scare and a damn good bite. So what more could you gorehounds ask for to watch on halloween then a beast that is hell bent on ripping thr...
The Howling Review by MistressOf Horror

husband’s arrival things were strange. Weird Old men trying to throw themselves into the fire … Overly friendly people… What did these peopl The Howling opens up with reporter, Karen White (Dee Wallace), on an...
The Howling (1981) Review by BlackTequilaKiss

Despite this movie being older than I am, it still to this day remains one of my favourite Werewolf movies around. Sharp, sassy and genuinely terrifying.PLOT-- After a strange and traumatising incident with a serial kill...
The Howling Review by Googopqp

Dee Wallace plays Karen White, a female reporter, who has a traumatic run in with a serial killer. She can't get it off her mind, so her psychologist recommends that she go to a place called "The Colony" and she agrees. ...
The Howling Review by The Creature

The Howling is a 1981 werewolf classic that stars Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Cujo, The Hills Have Eyes), Patrick Macnee (The Avengers, A View To Kill), and Dennis Dugan (Can't Buy Me Love, The New Adventure...
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