Film · Reviews

An American Werewolf in London (1981) Film Review | 365 Day Film Challenge – Day 51

John Landis’ classic horror/comedy still holds up today, especially the incredible makeup and practical effects. Is this movie overhyped? In my opinion, yes. It’s still a fun romp, though. Starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne, the story follows two American students David and Jack (Naughton and Dunne, repsectively), who are backpacking across England. They stop at The Slaughtered Lamb, a pub, only to be driven out by the locals. Once outside, they’re mauled by a vicious wolf. Jack dies, but David only suffers from some injuries. Little does he know how much his life will change after the attack…

The acting is solid, if somewhat hammy at times. For the most part, I was invested in the story and characters, but a few moments pulled me out of the experience. I adored Jenny Agutter as the nurse who cares for David, and David Naughton was great as David. The supporting actors were the ones who didn’t hold up as well for me.

As mentioned before, the makeup and practical effects are astonishing, even to today’s standards. The transformation scene is lingering and painful to watch, and you can see and hear every bone and muscle pop and stretch. The other visual effects of the film are spectacular as well.

This is a fun, gory romp that every horror fan should see. It’s a tad overhyped, but what it brought to the genre is incredible, and it’s still a benchmark for effects today.

Verdict: 4/5

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