Full Moon. New Blood.

Directed by Joe Nimziki

Starring Landon Liboiron as Will Kidman, Lindsey Shaw as Eliana Wynter, Ivana Milicevic as Kathryn/Kay, Jesse Rath as Sachin, Niels Schneider as Roland, Frank Schorpion as Jack Kidman. Also stars Kristian Hodko as Tribe, Sean Mercado as Pierce and Sacha Charles as Roddick and Mark Camacho as Principal Larouche.

Will Kidman is about to graduate high school. He really likes this girl called Eliana but she hangs around with these badasses, one of whom, Roland, scratches Will on the neck. Anyway, turns out Eliana likes Will too so it isn’t long before they get together. However, Will begins to suspect that he’s a werewolf.

The Howling: Reborn is the eighth ‘Howling’ film and after the abortion that was Howling VII it’s a welcome breath of fresh air. Earlier tonight I literally removed Howling VII from the DVD player after only 10 rancid soul-destroying minutes of being insulted by it and replaced it with this. How do I know it wasn’t going to pick up? Trust me, after 10 minutes, it was obvious; it’s not a horror film, a ‘Howling’ film or any kind of film, it’s just a shame it’s on DVD and therefore too sharp around the edge to wipe my arse with.

I’m a big fan of werewolf movies, An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Howling (1981), The Company of Wolves (1984), Silver Bullet (1985), Dog Soldiers (2002), to name just a few, and while The Howling: Reborn isn’t as good as any of those, for a ‘Howling’ entry it’s a bit of a masterpiece. OK, it’s a bit like the ‘Twilight’ of werewolf films, you could even call it Harry Potter and the Hairy Arse Full Moon or something, but at least it’s not an insulting bag of fetid dog excrement like Howling VII. Fucking line dancing, seriously?

No, in fact The Howling: Reborn is an OK film in every respect. It’s pacey, it’s nicely shot and there are some decent effects. The werewolves themselves are a little weird-looking in design but certainly a lot better than the Howling films have managed in the main, not including the original which really did beautifully in creature design with ‘Dog Soldiers’ type werewolves over 20 years before that came out and I would guess the original ‘Howling’ is an influence on that modern classic from 2002. The cast’s alright, Will is a bit of a Harry Potter but no one made me want to throw something at the TV, always a good sign. The finale really picks up in terms of special effects and we get what we came for in the long run.

While it’s a fairly straightforward kind of plot, it’s refreshing to see a ‘Howling’ film that doesn’t piss-ball about for a change. How exactly does a long-running film series get it so badly wrong? I mean, The Wolf Man (1941) nailed it all the way back then and the ‘Howling’ films for the most part just take the almighty piss out of everything. Jesus, they only had to stick a guy in a wolf mask in the woods and put a bit of thought into it and the series wouldn’t have been half as bad, not rocket science is it? Fucking line dancing, seriously?

Anyway, I would recommend The Howling: Reborn because it does what it says on the tin. Again, those werewolves are a bit crazy-looking but kinda cool too, they get better. It’s not really that ‘Twilight’, it’s a sort of teen horror film but there’s tension and some of the red stuff and the werewolves seem pretty lethal; the soundtrack is very teen horror though with songs drifting in and out in typical teen film fashion which are only really there to emphasise the romance. I dunno, but I’m glad I didn’t put myself through Howling VII, this was at least entertaining and not utter bin-juice. Hell, I even enjoyed it. There are too many great werewolf films to rate it too highly, I mentioned a few but there’s also The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Wolf (1994), Ginger Snaps (2000) and The Wolfman (2010) amongst others, so maybe watch this if you’re really stuck for something to watch and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

No actual werewolves were harmed in the making of this motion picture.

Thank god for that!