Director: John Landis
Genre: Horror/ Comedy
Runtime: 93 minutes
Starring: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, John Woodvine, Lila Kaye, Joe Belcher, David Schofield, Brian Glover, Rik Mayall, Sean Baker, Paddy Ryans, Anne-Marie Davies, Frank Oz, Don McKillop, Paul Kember, Colin Fernandes, Albert Moses, Michele Brisigoth, Mark Fisher, Gordon Sterne, Paula Jacobs, Claudine Bowyer, Johanna Crayden, Nina Carter, Geoffrey Burridge, Brenda Cavendish, Christopher Scoular, Mary Tempest, Cynthia Powell, Sydney Bromley, Frank Singuineau, Will Leighton, Michael Carter, Elizabeth Bradley, Rufus Deakin, Lesley Ward, George Hilsdon, Gerry Lewis, Dennis Fraser
Description: Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
Review: “An American Werewolf in London” is a movie that, within its genre, has reached a cult status. The start of the movie says enough and tells us which direction it’s heading: full moon, warnings, a pentagram on the wall of the local pub and a hostile attitude from the villagers. Something bad is about to happen. It’s in the form of a werewolf, that attacks both David and Jack while on a nightly stroll. Jack is killed and David survives the attack. But that’s just the beginning of David’s nightmare.
This film has that cult status to thanks to the wonderfully visualized transformation, where David turns into a werewolf. Director John Landis wanted the camera to stay close and to shoot the scene in clear light. This makes the transformation very realistic, especially for its time. This scene is definitely the best and most memorable moment of the movie.
Aside from that one scene, the physical appearance isn’t that present. It’s often more short and quick scenes with a bloody werewolf’s head and some growling noises. Only a couple of times the beast is fully shown, mostly from a distance. This doesn’t make the movie less exciting or scary. Landis managed to create an oppressive atmosphere and a good build-up.
At the time the movie came out, it got mixed reviews. People weren’t sure in which category “An American Werewolf in London” belonged. That’s because of the mix between horror and comedy. Landis claimed it was a horror movie. And that’s the case. The comedy, also thanks to lead actor David Naughton, is just a little bit of relief from all the gore. If this movie is a horror comedy, we will leave that up to the audience.
“An American Werewolf in London” is one of the best movies in the genre of werewolf movies and will definitely make every horror fan happy.
Rating: 4/ 5