Review : Howl (2015)

Howl was directed by Paul Hyett and released in 2015.  The movie takes place on the last train out of London, on a foggy night. Joe is the ticket collector who has to deal with all the stereotypical and annoying passengers. After hitting something on the tracks, the train is forced to stop in the middle of a forest.  The driver goes out to investigate but never returns. Soon, the passengers and train employees find themselves fighting for their survival as creatures of the night lurk outside.

The movie begins very slowly as we follow Joe collecting tickets and meeting all the passengers, from the workaholic to the obnoxious teenager. The real action only begins 30 minutes into the movie but once it starts, it is an enjoyable watch through the end. The characters are very cliché and yet very believable, especially if you ever had to use public transportation on a daily basis. You’ll surely recognize types of passengers you’ve had to deal with.

Howl has some interesting imagery and setting the action inside a train was a very good idea as it turns out to be a very efficient location for a werewolf movie. However, I felt it was not used to its full potential. There is not enough tension and no real sense of confinement and the scenes taking place outside the train were more thrilling and intense. The special effects were also very good and the amount of blood and werewolf rampage was enough to make Howl a thrilling horror adventure.

I especially enjoyed Hyett’s approach of a well-established creature. His werewolves do not transform to the full moon and return to human form once the sun rises. Instead, their transformation takes place gradually. At first, they still look human but then appear to be more of human-werewolves hybrids, giving them a unique look. Some may not like it but I think it works very well.

Though there is nothing original in Howl, as the premise has been used countless times before, it is still a very well-made film with realistic characters who don’t act like movie heroes. Though its location is not used to its fullest, it is still a very good werewolf movie in the tradition of An American Werewolf In London. I definitely recommend it.

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