Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Howling: Reborn (video 2011)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
On the eve of his high school graduation, unremarkable Will Kidman finally bonds with the girl he has long yearned for, reclusive Eliana Wynter. But he also discovers a dark secret from his past...that he is about to become a werewolf. Now, in an effort to fight destiny and save their love as well as their lives, they must battle not only Will's growing blood lust but an army of fearsome beasts bent on killing them...and then, us all.

I'd like to start off by saying that I love the original The Howling (1981) and truly consider it to be a landmark horror film. Especially for the werewolf genre. And after a few years of postponing the sequels I decided to give in and give them a shot and I should have listened to my gut. The sequels increasingly got worse! Part 3 was the worst and after that I was done, part 3 was one of the worst films I've ever seen and I wouldn't watch it again unless I was paid to do it. I never finished watching the sequels that followed part 3 because judging by the covers they're even worse than part 3.

Just another prime example of giving the right film franchise to the wrong people wanting to make a buck. So funny how they fail to realize that we'd rather see a good horror flick than a horrible one that was just fun to make. I take film seriously and I think the way some people say other people shouldn't be allowed to have kids, I say some people shouldn't be allowed to have a camera. I believe everyone has the right to express themselves through art and film, just don't do it while trying to uphold a franchise that deserves better.

So going into this film I had very low expectations and I wasn't even sure if I should waste my time on more crappy sequels. But since the title says "Reborn" and since it's only a year old I knew that meant that they were going to come at this film from a new angle and try and make it modern and give the series a clean slate. This little fact is what got me intrigued to give it a chance. I thought maybe it is possible for them to bring a long dead series back to life. I always try and remain optimistic.

The film starts with what I can only describe as being very bubbly and poppy, this film is not PG-13 but it was directed at a younger crowd, which I don't like. It reminded me of Wes Craven's Cursed. No matter how hard I tried to look at it it was hard for me to take seriously.

The story wasn't bad but it becomes predictable and losses its charm after a while. It semi hooked me, one minute I thought that it was going to be a horrible movie and then 10 minutes later I'm asking myself if maybe I was wrong, the movie seemed to have some potential.

The lead cast wasn't very convincing although I could tell they were trying hard, they just weren't the quality actors this film needed, but they did what they could. And I guess for a straight to video movie you shouldn't expect very good acting, although it is a great feeling when you find one that does have good acting. However, this film wasn't one of them.

I really appreciated what this film was going for and trying to achieve. It was still hard for me to take this film very seriously, at this point I knew that I wasn't in for a great movie like I foolishly wished. It was more entertaining that the original sequels though so they get the "thumbs up" from me on that. You don't really have to be very good at all to beat the originals, so let that be the question. Is it worse to be such a bad series that anything can be better than it or is it worse to be a movie that's better than the series but any film can achieve?

One of the things that made it so hard for me to take seriously was the werewolves. They looked good in the face but the bodies were absolutely ridiculous. They gave the werewolves Faun legs. It looks like the werewolves are wearing furry chaps. Terrible design. And the transformation scenes were pretty bad, not the worst I've seen but they were very far from the best and looked cheap with the CG used to achieve the transformations.

There is also a werewolf all-out brawl at the end between 2 werewolves, very reminiscent to the ridiculous scene in 2010's The Wolfman remake. This scene was entertaining in the pure fun aspect, I mean come on, who wouldn't want to watch a fight-to-the-death fight between to werewolves? But the fact that the film is trying to be taken seriously ruins it. You realize how cheap and poorly executed this was. This film tries really hard but it doesn't satisfy my Howling needs. I guess only the original can do that as it's proven again.

In conclusion The Howling reborn is better than the original sequels of which there are 8 including this one. This film was still a disappointment and didn't do anything to provide us hope with a comeback for The Howling series. I guess some things are better left dead as they say, right?

I don't know if a sequel would have been a better move than a remake in this case. I usually say sequels would be better than remakes, but that also depends on the film at hand. In this case I think a remake would have been a better movie because The Howling series has lost long ago the charm and magic that makes us love to watch it. It has lost itself and has become subject to horrific sequels and ridiculousness. Maybe one day we'll see a light at the end of the tunnel for this series and a bright new hope for a future. But as of right now I wouldn't hold me breath and I don't suggest you do either.


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