Throughout movie history there have been three monsters that have always captured the imagination of film makers and moviegoing audiences. And every time it seems that they are in a popularity contest of some kind. I am ofcourse talking about Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves. Currently the zombie is on top, which ofcourse has a lot to do with the success of the Walking Dead tv series. The vampire is somewhat less popular at the moment, but I would not be surprised if that changed again. And then ofcourse there is the werewolf who also seems to be having a blast with tv shows such as Teen Wolf and Bitten. The fun thing is that although certain rules seem to remain more or less the same, every movie or series does it’s own take on the established mythology. Last year a small English movie that featured werewolves was released, and it generated some buzz amongst horrorfans. Let’s find out if this movie is worth your time, or that you might be better off howling at the moon for a while.
In Howl we meet a young man called Joe who is a guard on trains. Having just heard the news that he got turned down for a promotion, he thinks his life can’t get any worse. Unfortunately it does. At the end of his dayshift, he gets the news that one of his colleagues has fallen ill, and that he has to report for a nightshift. Reluctantly he agrees, and he and an assortment of different passengers, head of into the night onboard a pretty filthy looking train. Then all of a sudden the train breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and Joe and the passengers get stranded. With a full Moon above them their only light it soon appears they are not alone. When strange creatures begin to attack them, getting stranded seems to be the least of their problems. Soon it becomes a question of who will survive the night….
Howl is obviously a low budget B-movie. That in itself is not necessarily always a bad thing. Some of these movies can at times be highly enjoyable if done well. This movie kind of falls in between. This is supposed to be a horrormovie, but it really wasn’t scary at all, which kind of means it is missing the point of a horrorfilm. Instead the film focusses on delivering gore, and in that category it succeeds. There are some pretty gruesome deathscenes, and admittedly the creatures look pretty cool. As far as werewolves go, they are certainly convincing enough, and look pretty unique.
The acting in this film is a bit of a mixed bunch. Ed Speleers, who plays the role of Joe, does a pretty good job in making you root for him in the end. Elliot Cowan, who plays the role of a very annoying, but entertaining passenger also manages to play the role convincingly. The rest of the actors and their respective roles are pretty much forgettable. Mostly they serve as cannonfodder for the wolves, or are just pretty mediocre actors. As far as the story goes, it is not very original, as this brings back memories of movies such as Dawn of the Dead or Assault on Precinct 13.
In the end though it depends if you are a horrorfan or not. If you are, than you might want to try this one out. It is not all bad, and the creatures themselves might be a reason for you to watch this film. If you are not a horrorfan though, there is not really much of a reason to go and watch this film.
I give Howl a 6 out of 10 score.