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John’s Horror Corner: The Howling: Reborn (2011), another damn teeny bopper high school relationship movie masquerading as a horror

January 27, 2013

MY CALL:  Just when I thought the world was done with sparkly vampires I stumbled across this: another damn teeny bopper high school relationship movie masquerading as a horror.  SKIP IT!  WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:  Well, if you’re in the market for a great werewolf movie that has a sense of humor, then see An American Werewolf in London (1981)–hands down the best werewolf movie ever made!  Second best would be The Howling (1981), which takes itself quite seriously.  Another fun one is Cursed (2005), which is loaded with clichés and honors many past horror flicks.  If you want another utterly ridiculous werewolf movie, then move on to Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985) and Howling 3: The Marsupials (1987).  But maybe skip Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) unless you’re die hard about this franchise..

Shit!  This looks like a Twilight sequel.

I wouldn’t call it a remake.  This contemporized franchise reboot chronicles the “coming of adulthood” of high school senior Will (Landon Liboiron; Altitude).  Will has a thing for Eliana (Lindsey Shaw; No One Lives), one of his classmates that refers to her clique as a “pack.”  Much to his surprise, she invites him to party where he is drugged, shares some time with Eliana and thinks he sees a werewolf.

After the “attack” Will turns to his best friend and horror trivia expert to learn about werewolves.  Meanwhile Will notices that he doesn’t seem to need his prescription glasses anymore (like in Wolf), he’s stronger and more assertive, his wounds heal before his eyes and he spends more time with Eliana.  Their relationship is really coming along.  This flick focuses more on the emotions, self-discovery  and Will’s relationship with Eliana than werewolves.  Speaking as a 30-something adult, this movie is pretty lame.

Kay (Ivana Milicevic; Banshee) is the mother of a fellow student. She puts the moves on Will’s dad and shifts from kind-hearted and mild-mannered to sultry.  But there’s something special about Kay.  She has a special interest in Will and she knows something special about him–whereas there is nothing special about this movie.

Lots of people die; we don’t see it happen.  There are lots of werewolves; we don’t see them.  I mean, we get a glimpse and the costume/make-up were okay despite their long ugly rat tails.  But the werewolf screen time was very little until the last 20 minutes.

It’s one of those albino vampire Moorlocks from The Descent.

A giant wererat.

My Little Pony on steroids.

Will’s girlfriend turns into a “male” werewolf.

Transformation is much easier nowadays with CGI.  Spinal vertebrae pulsate before pushing out the skin.  But after the first transformation they were reduced to hideously simplified instantaneous CGI morphs without stages, pain, etc.  This flick, while awful, keeps in line with franchise tradition and includes a mid-coitus transformation scene.  With the exception of Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985), these sex scenes always include a female werewolf and a regular guy who’s in for a big surprise.

The only thing this movie does well is reinforce the admonishing trend that the newer a “Howling” movie is the less advisable it is to watch.

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