An American Werewolf in London (1981)

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

Director: John Landis
Starring: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher

A couple of American backpackers in northern England are attacked by a werewolf and the lone survivor has inherited the curse.

This movie is one of the highlights of the horror genre in general and 80s horror in particular. The opening sequence is set up very well and is really tense. It's great stuff. And that howl they use for the werewolf is probably the scariest one out there. And of course I have to praise the transformation sequence, which is one of the major achievements of practical effects in film. As far as the cast goes, David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are particularly good as the too hapless backpackers and I also want to give a nod to Brian Glover as the pub chessmaster. Other commentators have noted that the movie falls apart a bit in the third act and the carnage of the final sequence is so over the top that it's almost comical. Speaking of comedy, there is a fair bit of that juxtaposed with genuine suspense and horror. A lot of the comedy is decidedly black, but if that appeals to you, I think you'll enjoy yourself. I definitely recommend giving this one a watch.

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