Signed up the 28/03/2017
There hasn't been a captivating and genuine werewolf horror flick in a long while, so going into Howl I was expecting to be more dissapointed than anything even though it comes highly recommended. The Paul Hyett film surprised me in many ways, though, and all of them were good.
Howl takes place in the woods in the middle of the night when a train is suddenly stopped in its tracks by what seems to be like a deer. The driver can't seem to get the train going no matter what is tried which eventually results in everyone opting to walk to the nearest refuge*, not considering any of the dangers. Of course things take a turn for the worst and the passengers end up on the train for cover.
From the setting, to the cinematography to the colour grading, this movie is one of the most atmopherically compelling out of the horror genre. You can feel every second of the film pulsing through you as you hold your breath for the enticing characters that have been so well-developed in just under 20-minutes.
You already know who you want to keep alive and who you wouldn't mind being mauled by the man-wolf-thing that's stalking the halted train. The film feels tight and closed in. The situation feels hopeless as the stalker seems to be more tactical than the people trying to surving this godforsaken night. It would be very lucky if anyone gets out alive.
I extremely enjoy it when a film is takes its time to set the theme, get the characterisation right and make sure everything else (technically) fits the mood of the film. Nothing feels out of place or patched together to make a senseless scare here. All the characters' motives, whether good or bad, make sense. The monster that's stalking is terrifying enough and never feels too exaggerated or out of mis-written.
Many horror fans can appreciate Howl for how the film cares for the craft and actually wants to tell a genuine lore that can stay on your mind long after the movie. Many horror movies are more forgettable than not because they prioritise genre tropes and jump-scares more. This movie isn't one of them.
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