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The Company of Wolves
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Company of Wolves More at IMDbPro »

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62 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

Excellent take on werewolf folklore

9/10
Author: Noel (Teknofobe70) from Bromsgrove, England
1 May 2005

Let's all thank god for Neil Jordan. Not only did he bring Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire to the screen in an uncompromising, superb adaptation, but way back at the start of his career he also brought us this mini-masterpiece about werewolves.

The setup is simple. A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine (with a cover story entitled "the shattered dream" -- a subtle hint to some of the themes of this movie), and she has a disturbing dream involving wolves which appears to take place in the woods visible from her bedroom window. It begins with a girl being chased down by a pack of wolves and killed, then we move to her funeral and discover she had a sister. The sister is your typical inquisitive girl just blossoming into womanhood, and her wise old grandmother tells her stories about men changing into wolves, with the message that all men are beasts. These stories make the girl uncomfortable about the advances of a local boy, and later a charming nobleman, and her perceptions of her parent's love life don't help. As the town becomes more and more terrified by the danger of wolf attacks, they begin to unearth evidence that there are in fact werewolves out in the woods. These findings and her own active imagination lead the girl to come up with her own werewolf stories. And when she is sent out through the woods with a red cloak and basket to visit her grandmother, you just know that there's going to be trouble ...

The Company of Wolves is a well-made, smart and highly original piece of work, and it is this movie that got Irish director Neil Jordan noticed internationally. The surreal, dream-like atmosphere of the movie is both superb and engaging, and the metaphorical nature of the movie is reasonably subtle. It is about a young girl's coming-of-age, trying to decide whether or not all men are in fact beasts when she still isn't quite sure exactly what they want from her.

Generally, werewolf movies made by European film-makers tend to have more substance and more familiarity with actual werewolf folklore -- it is part of our history after all, while Hollywood has had to create it's own werewolf myth over the years. This is probably the best British werewolf movie, followed by Dog Soldiers and Curse of the Werewolf, but even American classics like The Wolf Man and of course An American Werewolf in London, had to be set in Britain.

The lead role is played by Sarah Patterson, a young girl in her debut role at just 12 years old. After this she only appeared in one more movie (Snow White, also in the Canon Movie Tales series) then for some reason gave up on movie acting. She would certainly have had a successful career after this, you would think. The supporting actors also do good jobs, particularly Micha Bergese as the huntsman and Angela Lansbury as the creative grandmother. Other well-known names appear here in smaller roles, including Brian Glover (the yorkshireman from American Werewolf), David Warner, Stephen Rea and Terence Stamp.

It currently ranks as one of my all-time favourite werewolf movies, and I expect it to grow on me even more over time. I can recommend this without any reservation.

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54 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

The most original werewolf movie you'll ever see

10/10
Author: CountVladDracula from United States
4 January 2005

The Company of wolves is a very unique film that has to be watched with an open mind. It's a very surreal fantasy-horror story all of which takes place within the mind of a sleeping adolescent girl. Each story is filled with beautifully done metaphors and similes in which the werewolves represent puberty, sexuality, masculinity, and sexual awakening though there is no actual sex in the entire movie. It's very beautifully done. And even if you don't like symbolism and faery-tale style movies the werewolf transformations are quite unnerving and the stories the grandmother tells rosaleen (which are acted out as short stories in the movie) are rather chilling. This is the most original werewolf movie you will ever come across. There has never been or will there ever be again anything quite like it.

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19 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

For fans of the weird and lovers of the pre-CGI era, this is a rare treat

7/10
Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
11 January 2014

What a weird fairy tale: director Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire) seems to have had the intention of taking a Freudian approach to the story of 'Little Red Riding Hood'. The result is an almost surreal collection of stories about rather testosterone driven werewolves, who all have a little more on their minds than 'just' to kill. If you like old school practical effects and transformations, this film has 'em by the truck load (although they do seem a little dated by now). Not everything works in this strange tale; the mix of sexual symbolism, poetic beauty and gory horror moments seems a bit forced at times - but when it does work it's utterly fascinating. For fans of the weird and lovers of the pre-CGI era, this is a rare treat. 7 out of 10.

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Fun B-flicks/low budget films: http://www.imdb.com/list/YV1Lxq7WLkU/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/

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39 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

A movie that is far more than meets the eye.

10/10
Author: zzoaozz from United States
7 August 1999

This movie is a commentary on the passage from innocence to adulthood and the life we throw away as we make that transition. It is series of dream sequences that cover the many ways a man becomes a werewolf while the primary story line is moody reworking of the Little Red Riding Hood tale. The movie itself is very complex and not for those looking for a straight horror movie or a fantasy love story. It puts forth the premise that childhood must end, and we must all in time give in to the animal within. The ending is one that comes as a surprise and a shock to most viewers. The transformation scenes are some of the most incredible in the history of werewolf movies. Those who view this movie will either walk away confused or find themselves changed in some subtle way. It tends to be a bit hard to find in the video stores, but it is more than worth the trouble of searching.

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32 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Dreaming of wolves

8/10
Author: Leonard Shelby from Asturias, Spain
22 February 2001



The company of wolves is very far from being the typical movie about werewolves, it's very different from films such as An American Werewolf in London or The Howling. This film is full of symbolism, it's a kind of rewriting of Perrault's Little Red Ridding Hood with Freudian elements. The film was directed by Neil Jordan, but in it we can notice the writing of Angela Carter, an author who is mainly interested in rewriting folklore myths from a feminist point of view. If you see this film you will enter a world of magic, of dreams, not only by means of the script, but also by the settings, which are really wonderful. The film itself deals with the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence, with all its sexual connotations, and the loss of innocence. When we become adults we realize life is not a magic tale. All this is treated from a feminist point of view, the main character is a girl who dreams about several stories with werewolves. Visually the movie is incredible, and it manages to reflect the symbolism of woods, the mixture of light and darkness, the magic creatures which live there during the night and the dangerous inside them especially for the girls who don't follow the path. From my point of view the film is one of the best dealing with the myth of werewolves, mainly because the film is a metaphor of life, of the human specie, all of us have an animal inside.

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25 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

"Never Stray From the Path, Never Eat a Windfall Apple, and Never Trust a Man Whose Eyebrows Meet." – An Adult and Stylized Version of Little Red Riding Hood

9/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4 March 2004

Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) is a teenager, living in a country house in England with her family in the present days, and having a nightmare with wolves and werewolves in the Middle Ages. In her dream, her boring sister is dead, she lives with her father (David Warner) and her mother (Tusse Silberg), but she spends lots of time with her lovely grandmother (Angela Lansbury). Granny tells her many stories of werewolf and gives her the following advice: "- Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet." One day, Rosaleen, while going to visit her grandmother, meets a handsome man and bet with him who would arrive first at her granny's house. The story has an open end. The first time I watched this movie was in 1984 or 1985 in a imported VHS of a Brazilian video-club, and I liked it a lot. This video-club closed and unfortunately, this film has not been available in Brazil since then. Yesterday it was released on DVD and I immediately bought it. I have just saw it and I really can say that it is an excellent movie. The story is based on the fairy tale of the Little Red Riding Hood. Indeed it is an adult and stylized version of the tale. But further than that, it is also a spectacular approach of the beginning of the puberty, losing of the innocence through wild and erotic dreams, when the character of Sarah Patterson is becoming an young woman. Neil Jordan made an excellent work, with a wonderful horror movie, which can have the most different interpretations, depending on the eye and experience of the viewer. He used many symbols, such as the use of lipstick, or the first date of Rosaleen. I do not understand what happened to the gorgeous and very promising actress Sarah Patterson. With her interpretation in this film, I would bet she would have a great career ahead, what has never come true. This film is really a cult-movie, and I am one of its greatest fan. I would like to thank the Brazilian distributor Flashstar, for giving me the chance of see this wonderful movie again. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `A Companhia dos Lobos' (`The Company of the Wolves')

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14 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

One of the most strange werewolf-movies I've seen - but good!

8/10
Author: Kirstine (Atricea) from Denmark
6 April 2005

When I read on the back of the cover, the movie seemed interesting. I have a thing for very strange movies, and I loved this one. I love how many of the old folklore-myths about wolves and werewolves have been written into this movie. I think it was easy to predict the ending, but that is maybe because I was able to put myself in Rosaleen's place - and I love wolves and werewolves and folklore-tales, so this movie and it's plot was perfect for me.

I recommend it to anyone who loves werewolves, who loves movies that don't have action all the time, but leaves a space to think. And it makes you watch it, because what will happen in the end? The only thing I would like to have seen more of, was Rosaleen's real life - we only see her sleep, so we're not really getting to know her very much. The only links we have to about how she is, is how her parents and her sister talks about her in the beginning. But otherwise a very good and interesting movie - I recommend it! :)

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18 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful.

8/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
5 September 2001

Along with Dario Argento's "Suspiria"(1977)this is one of the most dream-like horror movies ever made.I love this one,although I still think that "Suspiria" is better.The cast is excellent,especially young Sarah Patterson as a Rosaleen,who simply steals the show.The transformation scenes are pretty gruesome and effective,and the film looks wonderful-great imagery!More fairy tale than horror "The Company of Wolves" is a must-see for all horror fans,who doesn't mind something different.

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an underrated film

9/10
Author: redukjent
3 August 2014

All that I can say is that this movie is a masterpiece - for those who like horror fairy tales. At first I was just expecting a pleasant b-movie with the right amount of classic horror elements but I ended up watching an artistic approach to Grimms' tales, hopefully without the ridiculous 80s'exaggerations. I can't even choose my favorite scene; Every and each one of them is made with elegance and good taste, brilliant ideas were coming out every two minutes.

A few films have surprised me on this level (Trick 'r treat, Valerie and her week of wonders). Without question, it's a hidden diamond of the 80s. Highly recommended.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely wonderful surrealistic wolf dream.

Author: Craig Carrington from San Francisco, CA
17 July 2002

This is one of those films that you either love or hate.

Depending on your personal taste, you will be either captivated by it or thoroughly bored. I happen to fit into the first category.

I must admit to having seen its video box for years and was completely turned off by it. I had been thinking, "Oh yuck, another 'gross out' werewolf movie."

So after discovering by accident what this movie was truly about (in the margin of a child's fairy tale book in my local Barnes and Noble!!!), I thought "I've got to see this."

And it wasn't easy to find.

But once I did, I was genuinely enthralled by the gorgeous and lovingly detailed backgrounds, the remarkable script and imagery. Think of this as "Little Red Riding Hood" goes "Eraserhead".

A thoroughly weird but wonderful little film that belongs in a secret classification all its own (along with such brilliant projects as "Head", "Eraserhead", "The Blair Witch Project" and the original "Haunting", to name a few) in which surrealistic suggestions, your brain and the power of your imagination rule the night.

In short, if you're looking for a run-of-the-mill 80s slasher flick then this movie is definitely NOT for you. If, on the other hand, you want to see a wonderful dark take on a traditional fairy tale then you will have a hard time making a better choice than this one!

One small note I wish to add: if you know about and/or raise real wolves like I do, you might find the scenes with them chasing others through the forest and bursting through the walls more funny than frightening. I say this because you know perfectly well how shy and gentle real wolves are, how completely opposite they are from European tradition as flesh and blood devils. But even so, you will enjoy watching those scenes anyway simply because its still fun to watch the cinematography of those gorgeous, fluffy little wolves running about all over the place with those huge smiles on their faces (they're obviously in a great mood and don't look the least bit vicious--I don't think I ever saw one of them actually snarl anywhere, just howl and smile).

Oh, and the "He Wolf" who ends up beating our red-hooded heroine home gives a genuinely stunning (but brief) performance. He's both disturbing and amusing to watch. He snarls. He writhes. He tempts and glares in the most sinister of ways, and he even sticks his tounge out to lick himself all over his own face doggy-style in ways that even Gene Simmons would envy----here's hoping the actor went on to receive acclaim in his career!

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