Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 200: An American Werewolf in London

I know this married couple and if you were to ask me how I know they are meant to be together, I would answer "An American Werewolf in London." They both rate it as the best horror movie of all time. And while I find it perfectly charming and enjoyable, there is no way I could see things their way on this.

David and Jack (played by David Naughton and Griffin Dunne) are two ace American buddies backpacking across the UK. One night, on the moors, they run afoul of a werewolf who viciously kills one and passes the curse of the werewolf to the other. The rest of the movie is the ghost of Jack trying to convince David to kill himself before the next full moon. And then the next full moon happens and things go poorly.

In plot terms, this is a very simple movie. Like Late Phases, you have to deal with the downtime between the initial werewolf attack and the grand finale. Luckily, this movie is full of humor and the love story between David and his nurse, Alex. Most of the downtime is spent with with David in denial and a decomposing Jack getting more belligerent. Of course, the transformation scene is pretty famous as a marvel of practical effects in the age before CGI. The scenes of the werewolf stalking its victims are mostly POV, probably for budgetary reasons. This gives them some immediacy which works well.

All in all, the movie is very well-done. It never really gets to the point of being scary but it is entertaining. While I would never mistake it for the greatest of all time, it is worth a watch if you haven't seen it.


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