3.5 out of 10
Release Date: 15th October 2015
Director: Paul Hyett (The Seasoning House)
Cast: Ed Speleers, Holly Weston, Shauna MacDonald, Elliot Cowan, Rosie Day, Amit Shah, Sam Gittins, Ania Marson, Calvin Dean, Ryan Oliva with Brett Goldstein, Sean Pertwee and Duncan Preston
Writer: Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler
Trailer: HOWL (2015)
Ed Speleers (ERAGON) and werewolves! Maybe the makers of Howl were such big fans of Love Bite that they had to have him face done lycans once more. Such a lack of imagination runs through this film like a streaker at a 70s football match.
As it is about 10 people find themselves under attack from werewolves as they travel home on a late commuter train. Fans of the ‘then there was one’ storyline may find this fun as they predict who’s first to get eaten. Horror fans will know the first victim will be easy to peg as the film cast Sean Pertwee (EVENT HORIZON) who gets a single line of dialogue before he goes “argggghhhh!” – splat.
Ed Speleers and Holly Weston (ASSASSIN) play our heroes. (Even Holly Weston has werewolf experience – see Splintered.) So never under estimate those in charge of the buffet cart next time you travel by train. They too could be monster fighters. The rest of the cast are a bunch of cliches who get picked off in no short order. The performances are uniformly good for this kind of thing, but why it attracted the number of established TV / low-budget film named stars is a mystery as there’s nothing in here that shouts ‘innovation’ or ‘I’m special’. It’s just workman-like and for horror films that’s not acceptable. I’ve also seen scarier werewolves in Jonathan Sothcott‘s looney-tune Strippers vs Werewolves – which was ten times more fun than this.
Director Paul Hyett previously made the accomplished and interesting The The Seasoning House, which marked him out as one to watch, but this wipes away any signs of that early promise. This scores points only because it’s competently made and well-acted. Otherwise Howl has no voice. It should have been called ‘Miaow’.
3.5 out of 10 – Flat horror that could’ve been scarier, funnier, darker and more original. A sad waste.
REVIEW BELOW BY MATT ‘SILVER BULLET’ USHER
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Ed Speleers: Breathe (2016), Remainder, Alice In Wonderland 2, Wolf Hall (TV), Downton Abbey (TV), Plastic, Love Bite, A Lonely Place To Die, Witchville, Eragon
- Holly Weston: Await Further Instructions, Assassin (2015), Splintered, Hollyoaks (TV)
- Shauna MacDonald: Swung, Dangermouse (voice) (TV), Filth, The Hike, The Descent 2, Mutant Chronicles, The Descent, Spooks (TV), Late Night Shopping, The Debt Collector
- Elliot Cowan: Angel of Decay, Narcopolis, Cilla (TV), Da Vinci’s Demons (TV), Luther (TV), Hammer of the Gods
- Rosie Day: Sixteen, Ironclad 2, The Seasoning House
- Amit Shah: The Hundred Foot Journey, Lilyhammer (TV), The Facility, All Stars, The Infidel
- Sam Gittins: Await Further Instructions
- Calvin Dean: Tormented
- Ryan Oliva: Montana, Top Dog, Vendetta, The Seasoning House
- Brett Goldstein: Adult Life Skills, Superbob, Everyone’s Going To Die, #Legacy, Hoff The Record (TV), The Hooligan Factory, The Comedian, The Knot
- Sean Pertwee: Gotham (TV), Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa, The Seasoning House, Jo (TV), The Magnificent Eleven, UFO (2013), St. George’s Day, Wild Bill (2012), Four, 4-3-2-1, Devil’s Playground, Dangerous Parking, Just For The Record, Botched, Wilderness, Doomsday, Mutant Chronicles, Goal, Goal II, Equilibrium, Dog Soldiers, The 51st State, Soldier, Love Honour & Obey, Cold Feet (TV), Event Horizon, Blue Juice, I.D, Shopping, Dirty Weekend, Leon The Pig Farmer
- Duncan Preston: Emmerdale (TV), Dragonheart 3, Nativity 3, Five Children and It, Coronation Street (TV), Dinner Ladies (TV), Surgical Spirit (TV), The Harry Enfield Show (TV), Gentry