Quick Recap: Two American guys go backpacking in England where they are savagely (is there any other way?) attacked by a werewolf. Jack is killed but his friend, David Kessler, survives. Continuing with lycanthrope legend, David has been bitten in the attack and is slated to turn into werewolf during the next full moon. To make matters worse, his dead best friend comes back to convince David to kill himself and sever the bloodline. Deciding that that doesn’t sound like a rocking good time, David does indeed become an American Werewolf in London and slaughters a bunch of people.
Fun (?) fact: All of the songs featured in the film have to do with moons in some way. However, Cat Stevens refused to allow ‘Moonshadow’ because he had recently converted to Islam and Bob Dylan refused to allow ‘Moonshiner’ because he had recently discovered Christianity. Interestingly, the song ‘Werewolves in London’ is also not found in the movie.
My thoughts: This movie kickstarts my foray into all Horror movies for the month of October. I started with this one because I had never seen it and because on top 10 list of things that scare me, werewolves get a pretty low spot. I mean, in the end, they are basically just a wolf that bites you to death. Gruesome, sure, but according to legend, if you become a werewolf you have no memory of the transformation so that works for me.
With the fear element being taken out, I was left to just watch the plot unfold. As it is with most horror films, a rule was established that, if the characters had just paid attention, they wouldn’t have encountered danger, thus rendering the entire film useless. But of course, the Americans went exploring off the road and were almost instantly attacked. My interest was first truly piqued when David’s friend Jack visits him from beyond. It was such a creepy way for David to realize he had become a werewolf and then be told that his only option was to kill himself. I continued to be creeped out every time Jack showed up because each time his body had decomposed even more. The nightmares were similarly creepy and, not that this makes much sense, realistic. I say that because obviously, being a werewolf changes your entire brain structure so it only makes sense that your subconscious would be giving you clues about your new life.
The transformation scene was beautifully done and once again, made logical sense. Becoming a wolf must be a painful experience, to say the least. The actual killing scenes were gruesome and gory, which isn’t really my thing. That is to say, I don’t really mind them, but they don’t scare me. What did creep me out sufficiently was the scene when all of the recent victims had gathered into the movie theater to once again urge David to kill himself. The victims were the perfect mix of humorous and almost apathetic about their current situation. They chastised him for what he did, but weren’t all that riled up about their current state. The ending felt abrupt to me, although I can’t really imagine anything else happening or wanting to see what became of the other characters.
Final review: 3/5. It was almost a 4, but not being scared of werewolves knocked off a point.
Nightmares: None of the werewolf nature, although that shower scene might have crept into my subconscious at some point and Ewan McGregor may or may not have been involved.
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