Wolfen (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,377 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 85 critic

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.



(based on the novel by), (screen story), 4 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Howling (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
Bad Moon (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Red
Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Paré, Mason Gamble
Silver Bullet (1985)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A werewolf terrorizes a small city where lives Marty Coslaw, - a paralytic boy - his uncle and his sister - the narrator of the story.

Director: Daniel Attias
Stars: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim
Horror | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine and she has a disturbing dream involving wolves which appears to take place in the woods visible from her bedroom window.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, David Warner
Looker (1981)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey
Razorback (1984)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis
Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A fledgling actress is lured to a remote mansion for a screen-test, soon discovering she is actually a prisoner in the middle of a blackmail plot.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Mary Steenburgen, Roddy McDowall, Jan Rubes
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

When a group of people from different walks of life converge in a Hungarian castle situated in Budapest which has been sealed for 500 years, they bring with them a werewolf which slowly ... See full summary »

Director: Neal Sundstrom
Stars: Philip Davis, Victoria Catlin, Elizabeth Shé
Dead & Buried (1981)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.

Director: Gary Sherman
Stars: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson
Moon of the Wolf (TV Movie 1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

After several locals are viciously murdered, a Louisiana sheriff starts to suspect he may be dealing with a werewolf.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: David Janssen, Barbara Rush, Bradford Dillman
Monkey Shines (1988)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A quadriplegic man has a trained monkey help him with his paralysis, until the little monkey begins to develop feelings, and rage, against its new master.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Jason Beghe, John Pankow, Kate McNeil


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dehl Berti ...
Sam Gray ...
Ralph Bell ...
Max M. Brown ...
Anne Marie Pohtamo ...
Sarah Felder ...
Morgue Attendant (as Reginald Vel Johnson)


A city cop is assigned to solve a bizarre set of violent murders where it appears that the victoms were killed by animals. In his pursuit he learns of an Indian legend about wolf spirits. Written by K. Rose <rcs@texas.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Their hunting ground - New York City. Their prey - the people. See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A farkas  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was the first movie to use a thermographic visual photographic look to represent the point-of-view of a character, in this case, the wolfen. The type of effect shot has been used in a number of movies to show the POV of a character, usually villainous, like a beast. One notable example of the popularizing of this kind of visual effects perspective is its use in the "Predator" film franchise. See more »


Moments before the first murder, the killers stalk their victim (using the "night vision" effect) and pass behind a parked car, revealing the reflection of a bright sunny day in the rear hood of the car when it is supposedly taking place at night. See more »


Rebecca Neff: South Bronx and Wall Street! What's the connection?
Dewey Wilson: They're both dead!
See more »


Referenced in Underground: The Julian Assange Story (2012) See more »


Jitterbug Boy
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by Tom Waits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Atmospheric and Entertaining
21 April 2015 | by (Georgia) – See all my reviews

Wolfen is absolutely a classic of the horror genre. Released in succession after the likes of Altered States, The Howling and An American Werewolf in London it actually provides more tension than the rest because it doesn't overdo the creature effects. The Howling is probably the most famous of the three films yet after purchasing and watching the blu-ray I realized something 33 years later... It's just not scary. The transformations are graphic but feel too long and drawn out now. As an adult I find that werewolves just are no longer scary. Neither is Dracula. At least American Werewolf was funny and had a charismatic lead. Where Wolfen exceeds it's genre roots is in it's attention to plot details and character development. Albert Finney is believable as a burned out cop and Gregory Hines is a treat as his co- star/sidekick the coroner. There are scenes in this film that work on a suspense level that few others can muster and the abandoned tenements provide a creepy location for their two man reconnaissance. As far as 80's horror goes this is essential viewing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are there no fans of Wolfen? angel_kirsch
WOLFEN REMAKE! davidf32725
petition for a Wolfen remake RobArdern
The book reg0402
What happened to the van de veers dog matthew-brown1
Shut your eyes... and Its like you're watching Aliens... rpi_alum
Discuss Wolfen (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page