An American Werewolf in London (1981)

This is old-fashioned horror filmmaking at its finest. There’s an emphasis on character, mood and atmosphere that prevail over jump scares or unnecessary gore – that isn’t to say that the movie is not scary nor gory, but that director John Landis deploys those devices judiciously, and as a result is able to extract strong reactions from the audience (after all, less is more). Leads David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are well-cast as best friends and have believable chemistry together, which goes a long way towards selling an imaginative albeit over-the-top plot. But really what makes this work so well are the creature effects, including an extraordinary transformation scene that rivals Joe Dante’s “The Howling.” It’s the best kind of slow-burn horror narrative, slowly ratcheting up the tension until the climax explodes into utter pandemonium.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s