If the people behind The Howling Reborn are to be believed, the reason why horror movies suck is because no one wants to see 40 year olds in the lead. Their solution was to hire a Harry Potter look alike and walk down the Twilight road instead of a Howling road.
When someone thinks about The Howling, often fondly, placing it among the best werewolf movies (saying little, as most werewolf movies strangely blow), what comes to mind? A prolonged, awesome transformation scene a la An American Werewolf in London perhaps? Maybe 40 year old leads? Either way, you probably conjure up in your head, I don’t know, a giant werewolf?
So if you were to make another installment in this franchise, you’d think at the very least there would be a cool transformation scene and a big, bad ass werewolf. I think I would have preferred that you made this film, as The Howling Reborn is satisfied with their dopey, emo werewolf narrating his sad story rather than turning into a werewolf. Rather than anyone turning into a werewolf. Okay, so that’s not entirely true. There are werewolves in this movie. For a few minutes anyways.
There are about four real kills in the film, and then an explosion at the end wipes out some werewolves, presumably a lot, but it’s anti-climactic and boring so I’m not going to count it.
We’ve got ourselves a tame one here. At the beginning we see a child’s hand come through a dead, pregnant woman’s stomach, a dude is thrown down stairs, someone is tricked into eating part of a finger, and there is a broken neck. We also see a heart ripped out and a severed head. If any of this sounds bloody and brutal, it’s not.
Ivana Milicevic is great looking, but there is nothing sexy to speak of.
Werewolves aren’t especially bright, dangerous, or sturdy.
As I teased earlier, there isn’t a lot of werewolf action in the movie. We don’t really get to see a werewolf for about sixty minutes and even then, there’s not much. When a werewolf does show up, it kind of looks like one of the Underworld creatures wearing really furry Ugg boots. The climactic final battle takes place when two werewolves hug each other through some walls. Then the movie is over. All told there is maybe four minutes of werewolf footage, a solid half of which is just some werewolves dicking around breaking stuff while the camera cuts like the power is going out.
On the positive side, the soundtrack is good and the film generally looks pretty good throughout, when nothing is being computer animated. The major shortcomings are all story related, in that the story isn’t very interesting, there are no werewolves, and the characters are mentally challenged. One school bully with perhaps a French accent brings a gun to school for some reason and when he discovers shooting at a werewolf three times doesn’t do much, he calls it quits and throws the gun in the trash can.
Later, when our heroes remember that werewolves are now apparently vulnerable to fire, they whip up a couple of homemade flamethrowers in about sixteen seconds. Time isn’t much of an issue when you’re being chased by werewolves – there is time to craft flamethrowers and sneak off into the science wing to make out.
Unfortunately, The Howling Reborn is an obvious, uninspired, on the nose transformation film that doesn’t manage to sell much. Our hero starts out as a sissy wimp, finds his inner werewolf and then pretty much stays a wimp. But sometimes his voice over sounds like he’s changed. But then again, his actions indicate he’s still a pussy.
It’s hard to imagine fucking up the franchise more than The Howling III: The Marsupials, but this film managed to leave out everything interesting: sex and werewolves. Just imagine this never happened.