Howl (2015)

I don’t remember how I came about this film.  I’ve never seen it. But it’s an hour and a half, and sounds like it could have some humor to it.  I understand people are on a train getting attacked by werewolves.  Solid enough premise for me.  Spoilers are upcoming, so if you like, skip to the last paragraph to get my final thoughts and rating.

 

SPOILERS

If you have seen 30+ horror films in your life, then you have most likely seen a film like this.  A group is put in a precarious position that they learn more about as the film progresses and people continue to get killed by whatever the big threat of the film is.  Well, in this case, you have a group of like 10 people on a train and it ends up stopping unexpectedly.  There are werewolves outside and it’s a matter of last person standing.  While the film has it’s moments, for instance, I don’t think I have seen this sort of thing play out with a werewolf, but it’s like a zombie virus in it’s something that is contracted via bite.  The werewolves were very unique looking, which I appreciated.  I need to make a list of critiques, and while there are many, I wish to assure that this is a movie I will see again and I did find it overall enjoyable, but some things need to be said.

How many more times do we need to have the ruthless smart guy that will kill everybody else in order to surprise?  Seriously, that character exists in so many films.  Yes, there are always going to be people who look out for themselves, but they aren’t always going to be men, ultra aggressive, unwilling to listen to reason, or be smart/successful.  If we could get dumb people, or women, or broke desperate people more in the mix for that character, it would be nice.

How many movies do we need where the obvious people are the last 4 or 5?  Pull a Game of Thrones and kill off the main character or 2 main ones and really spin the film on it’s side.  It would be such a nice and welcome change.  Let’s be honest, character development isn’t very important in these types of films, so it’s not a loss to lose out on some guy that they spent 3 extra minutes trying to get you attached to him.  Just change it up.  I am not a fan of a twist for the sake of a twist, but this film was never going to have a twist, so be daring and creative.

In a film like this, if there is a couple, especially an old couple, one of them will get hurt early on.  It’s like clockwork.  It’s a big trope of horror at this point and I get it, but it would be nice to have smart old people who use the young people because the old ones are the smart and wise ones and keep avoiding danger.  See how that little twist in storytelling could completely alter a film?  That’s what I am talking about.  

I also hate when characters refuse to face facts or analyze the situation.  The old woman was bit.  The annoying girl got yanked out of the train.  You are dealing with some shit and some sacrifices may have to be made.  These are facts.  The thing is, so many people in real life would be on the moronic side, so it is kinda realistic, unfortunately.

My final gripe is about Shauna MacDonald and why she was even cast.  Her best known role is the star of one of the 3 most overrated horror films of the 2000’s, the Descent.  She’s not even the star in this and yet is as fucking irritating as ever.  This is a surefire way to piss me off.  There are roles out there for her, but don’t make us watch her as long as Howl or The Descent did.

 

End Film

 

Final Thoughts – A solid movie where a group of strangers have to try to work against a group of werewolves while on a train.  If that doesn’t sound fun, just move on.  It’s that simple.  This is well done, but falls into a lot of familiar traps in films that are similar.  I didn’t hate watching it, but the first hour is better than the rest of it.  It just slows down too much in my opinion.  You expect the final 30-40 minutes to be a great experience, and while it had it’s moments, the lull around the hour mark was draining on me, at the very least, but you may not feel it.  Anybody can watch this film and have a good time with it if you carry zero expectations and just want to watch a relatively simple story.

Rating: 5.8 seems fair to me.  I would rewatch it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody I know.

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