Howling (1981) Movie Review

Howling Cover Poster Art

1981 | Horror
91 minutes /

User Score: 82/100

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Howling Review


After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

The Howling (1981) is an American horror cult classic movie that was based on Gary Brandner novel of the same name. Director Joe Dante (Gremlins (1984), Small Soldiers (1998), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Innerspace (1987)) did an extraordinary job executing this masterpiece. The Howling had an estimated budget of $1.5 million and grossed over $17.9 million. The movie contains nudity, werewolves, violence, sexual content/references, decapitation, blood, bad language, minor frightening scenes, werewolf transformation, shapeshifting, and regeneration. The thrills, suspense, tension and storyline was done amazingly well.

The Howling revolves around Karen White ( Dee Wallace - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Cujo (1983), Critters (1986)) who is a Los Angeles, television newswoman. Serial killer, Eddie Quist ( Robert Picardo - Star Trek: Voyager (1995), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Total Recall (1990)) is stalking Karen. Karen decided to do what the police told her to, and that is to trick Eddie by agreeing to meet him in a theater. After a few events, we see Karen and her husband R. William ‘Bill’ Neill (Christopher Stone - Cujo (1983), The Interns (1970), Days of Our Lives (1965)) in a secluded/remote mountain resort in the countryside. Karen and Bill are unaware that there are werewolves in the woods surrounding them.

It did not take long after their arrival at the cabin for a creature resembling a werewolf to bite Bill later resulting in Karen becoming suspicious of her husband after his appetite and menu changes. I was shocked to see what Karen and Chris (Dennis Dugan - Happy Gilmore (1996), Big Daddy (1999), Grown Ups (2010), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)) did to the colony/resort site towards the ending of the movie. It was a great scene that is not seen much in werewolves movies. The werewolves were unique where some resemble part wolf, part man, and part cat which was captured nicely with great camera angles and makeup jobs. The mysterious storyline strays from the novel a little bit, but it was impressive and substantial. All of the actors did a fabulous job with their respective roles. The sound, music and characters (not actors) could have been better. The Howling is a classic cult horror movie that all werewolf fans should see at least once.

About Howling 1981

Title: Howling
AKA: The Howling
Year: 1981
Runtime: 91 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror
Score: 4 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 4.1/5 stars from 107 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 107
Starring: Dee Wallace, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo, Robert Hammond, Forrest J Ackerman, Forrest J. Ackerman, Kenneth Tobey, Patrick Macnee, James MacKrell, Belinda Balaski, Roger Corman, Meshach Taylor, Christopher Stone, Kevin McCarthy, James Murtaugh, Jim McKrell, Sarina C. Grant, Herbie Braha, Wendell Wright, Daniel Núñez, Michael O'Dwyer, Dennis Dugan, Robert A. Burns, Slim Pickens, John Jensen, Elisabeth Brooks, Jonathan Kaplan, Margie Impert, John Sayles, Noble Willingham
Writers: Gary Brandner, John Sayles, Terence H. Winkless
Director: Joe Dante