Howl (2015), directed by Paul Hyett, is one of the best werewolf movies I’ve seen in a long time. While the creature effects aren’t quite traditional (usually a deal breaker for me) they still look pretty cool. Without spoiling the movie, I’ll say Hyett takes a unique approach to the werewolf myth, though the story behind the werewolves in the film is never told, leaving their existence a mystery.
Joe is the reluctant ticket collector on the last train out of London on this dark and stormy night. The passengers show him little respect as he moves through the cars, inspecting their tickets. Having recently been passed up for a promotion, Joe’s patience is short, but he is respectful and does his job by the number. When the train hits a deer and stalls, Joe tries unsuccessfully to keep everyone calm. When the driver, who left to investigate the damage done to the train, comes up missing, Joe has a catastrophe on his hands. The passengers demand answers Joe doesn’t have. He apologizes and accepts their vitriol with as much dignity as he can muster.
When the werewolf strides out of the dark forest surrounding the tracks and starts eating people, all eyes are on Joe to save the day.
I found the use of shadows and suggestion effective here. You do eventually see the werewolves in full, but my favorite shots are those of the creatures bathed in shadow, creeping toward their victims with the beautifully atmospheric backdrop of the forest and the moonlit sky looming behind them. This movie relies heavily on tension and mystery to keep the viewer on edge, though there is plenty of blood for the fan of brutal horror. The acting is good, and the characters are interesting and relatable. If you’re a jaded werewolf fan, sick of seeing your favorite monster dragged through the mud over and over in one terrible movie after another, give this one a try.