The Horror Binge-a-thon during the October Fear Fest continued with the John Landis film, An American Werewolf in London. I have to say, I was not as impressed with this movie as I thought I would be.
I remember watching this years ago, but I wonder if I hadn’t watched the whole thing (or had seen an edited version on TV) because much of what was here was unfamiliar.
While trekking through the Moors of England, David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) wind up being attacked by a werewolf. Jack was killed, but David survived. After several weeks in the hospital, David receives a surprise visit from the still deceased Jack who has some uncomfortable news. David is a werewolf and must kill himself to end the blood line of the wolf.
David believes that he is dreaming and meets up with a nurse(Jenny Agutter) from the hospital who lets him stay at her flat. Unfortunately, time is running out as the moon is due to be full the next night.
I found this to be pretty disappointing. The tones of the film vary wildly from scene to scene and I just never thought that the film found its footing.
When David is transforming into the werewolf, however, the film is frighteningly solid. The transformation is painful, harsh and scary. You feel for David at the time, wishing his pain would end. The people he kill are all just glorified extras that you have no emotional connection to so their deaths do not overcome the feeling of connection you have for David. Because of that, the end results feels empty.
The relationship with David and nurse Alex is strange and sudden. There are a lot of feelings of rushing here as the film does not take its time on any major point. The whole part with the Slaughtered Lamb and the patrons who refuse to say anything makes no sense whatsoever. Why are they so secretive? Why is it such a big issue when one tries to talk to the doctor? It makes no sense.
Much of the plot is thin and does not pay off. The film looks great, especially the part where the werewolf transformation is taking place. I just did not buy the blend of horror and humor in this case.