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The Company of Wolves
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The Company of Wolves More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The lost of innocence

10/10
Author: (amoreno-4) from Valladolid, Spain
22 December 2000

A little jewel. A film absolutely underrated. Mixing werewolves and Charles Perrault´s "Little Red Riding Hood", Neil Jordan narrates us a beautiful story, full of symbols, about the lost of innocence. The play of Sarah Patterson in Rosaleen´s role is superb.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A beautifully crafted fairy tale

10/10
Author: ray-141 from Hong Kong
30 September 1999

A wonderful fantasy tale that I only saw many years after its release due to reading unfavourable reviews - there is a moral there: take no notice of film critics!

The dream-like sets create a claustrophobic fairy tale ambiance. Angela Lansbury is excellent as the wise old grandmother telling creepy tales of wolves to the impressionable Rosaleen, played by the delightful Sarah Patterson who I have never seen in anything else since unfortunately.

Special effects date very quickly and the effects used in this film are no exception, but this does not detract from the film.

The screenplay has been beautifully adapted from a short story by Angela Carter from her excellent collection 'The Bloody Chamber'. The complex and highly descriptive prose of the original story - itself a re-interpretation of 'Little Red Riding Hood'- makes it difficult to transfer to the screen but this succeeds superbly well and is a deeply satisfying film to watch and is worth repeated viewings to take it all in.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Queen of Gothic

10/10
Author: Curtis Bittle (bittlecurtis@hotmail.com) from Texas
4 February 2002

Here is a complex but not confusing film of related stories set within a marvelously atmospheric dream, within the less orderly dreams of a young girl in a modern setting. The movie is sensual, sometimes gory, yet always beautiful, and has a grand haunting romance. There are not really any other films like this. This is a film about the sublime. It is not a horror film as much as it is a Gothic, written by a professional writer with a gift for the marvelous. Seldom does a gifted writer's vision come to light in fantasy (or horror), almost never a living author with real talent. She did not get another chance, but she left something with the one she had.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of my favourite films of all time.

10/10
Author: peter goddard (streetsofla@hotmail.com) from Hampshire, England
29 January 2001

"Little Red Riding Hood" is a story loved and appreciated by most children all around the country. But never before has it been presented in this manner. Neil Jordan's "In the Company of Wolves" is a splendid film that blends symbolism, excellent performances, and fine art direction to create an extremely entertaining and intellectual piece of work. ~P~ One of the most fascinating aspects of "The Company of Wolves" is it's symbolism. The film's tie with Little Red Riding Hood-- especially the wolves--combine too create an allegory for adolescent sexual awakening and mature, beastlike sexual nature. The film is sprinkled with references, outright and hidden, to support this theme. Other scattered images prove to promote reflection on their meanings, something many films today do not even attempt. Performances in the film are also a treat. Angela Lansbury especially stands out as Granny, a world-wise woman with a tongue spilling wisdom, drivel, and humor. The other knock-out performance is that of Sarah Patterson as Rosaleen (Little Red Riding Hood). She emits a cool knowing of her budding sexuality and slowly grows until she is ready to embrace the forbidden territory of passion. The art direction of the film--costumes, sets, images--all contribute to its excellence. The costumes are all very period, and Rosaleen red cape seems to have even more special significance here (do we detect more symbolism?!?).The setting is very unique, a combination of surrealism, Disney, and the medieval period. The scattered images in the film--especially the ending--raise it high above many films available today. "The Company of Wolves" is a fascinating film chock full of Freudian symbolism, dazzling art, and winnign performances. If you aren't afraid to think a little bit about the pictures flashing before your eyes, you owe to yourself to hop to the local video store and rent this film...you wil NOT be disappointed!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I still love it

9/10
Author: Johan Louwet
19 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember the first time around I was around 10-11 years old when I saw this movie. A movie about Red Riding Hood cool I loved fairy tales and for reason I don't know that was my favorite and still is one of my favorites. Of course I didn't expect it to be a horror version. Still I was intrigued and loved it. Still love it now.

I am though no fan of werewolf movies (even though I do think the original Wolf Man was really good) and I'm not so keen on movies with much symbolism (and no particular fan of vampires either, for some reason there always seems to be competition between the 2). And yet the movie is full of it. The story is so simple, actually there is no real story. It's 13 year old Rosaleen dreaming about being Red Riding Hood and everything that happens in that dream is how she is slowly hitting puberty.

The symbolism well I don't understand all of it (and had to look up what some meant) but yeah we have young romance. A boy her age (he is never named) is fancying Rosaleen but Rosaleen finds him silly (I remember how girls that age rather wanted an older boy as the boys their age they found too childish). Other recognizable stuff is granny's don't stray away from the path or the wild animals will get you. Of course not the animals are the danger but a werewolf is and that stands for the man seeking for innocent girl waiting for her in the bushes hoping to deflower her. Never trust a man whose two eyebrows meet. Funny thing we had a teacher who did have that. He did have two faces nice to the outer world and great in organization but he did not shy away from stealing if he could. Coincidence of course but still weird. Rosaleen finding some eggs in a bird's nest which hatch some kind of baby statues. I have read that symbolized her first menstruation (very original I must say). Throwing of her red hood I would think saying goodbye to her childhood and now making her own choices.

The stories that grandmother tells sometimes quite silly, I think are another high point of the movie. The first one about the woman marrying a wolf man, the betrayed woman who invades the wedding of the man impregnating her, the she-wolf and the priest all of them actually do mean something and could make for an interesting longer story. Only the boy meets devil story I found a bit out of place also because it does have a car which didn't exist back in those days.

Setting is awesome, the woods and its houses open place with a well. It all fits really well with the time and the famous fairy tale. A few special effects were really good. The movie also has some great transformations from man to werewolf (just as good I think as in An American werewolf in London) and of course there was the porcelain head of grandma being shattered (instead of eating her up). The toys in Rosaleen's room you can see them at various moments in her dream, the dolls and the doll house. And last but not least the various references to other fairy tales such as the apple, the toad and the gingerbread.

Of course I had not paid attention to all those details the first time around and little did I know as a child. Now watching it looking closely into it despite its simple story (I am a story person) I get so much out of it is one of my favorite movies (top 10 for sure) and probably always will be.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Never stray from the forest path, never eat a windfall apple and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle.

Author: Reid Taylor (Reid-4) from New Canaan, CT
28 December 1999

The Company Of Wolves is probably one of the most interesting movies of all time. The storyline is very entertaining and chilling. I have never ever seen a movie like this. What makes the movie so precious is the girl who played Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson). She did the most outstanding performance in the history of acting!!! The weird thing is that it is not really a horror movie. It is more of a movie about growing into adulthood. The movie would have been rated PG13 but there is a scene where the wolf tears up somebody's face which gave it a rating of R (don't let that stop you!) Many things make this movie look pretty bad but it is really the best movie you will ever see.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Mature retelling of the classic tale

Author: Eileen (eileen-9)
30 October 1999

This is a wonderfully surreal version of Little Red Ridinghood. Sarah Patterson and Angela Lansbury are good and I'm glad Angela Carter did the adaptation. The special effects are badly dated and they detracted from the mood, but they don't last long.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Are men wolves? Are wolves men?

Author: Otter-6 from Hartford, Connecticut
10 October 1998

This horror film explores the old fable Red Riding Hood in terms of a young woman's coming-of-age; and how men and women relate to each other, from a woman's perspective of the darker side of man's nature. Is he beast or friend? Fiend or savior? This magnifcent film lets you draw your own conclusions.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Interesting take on werewolf lore.

7/10
Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
24 May 2014

This appropriately moody looking film from co-writer / director Neil Jordan is good entertainment, a combination of horror and fairy tale that plays up the sexual angle in its exploration of the werewolf myth. It's true enough that the film is murky, but that fits the material; Jordan avoids a lot of bright colours and his crew give this an excellent period feel. (This only helps to make the red shawl worn by our heroine to really stand out.) The acting is solid, and overall "The Company of Wolves" benefits from its theme of there being more to "wolves" than meets the eye. Of course, this also ties into the time honoured idea of the beast inside man.

The film encompasses several tales, all of them either told by kindly Granny (Angela Lansbury) or her granddaughter Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson), and supposedly all of them are contained within Rosaleens' dreams. They range from a groom (Stephen Rea) having a surprise in store for his new bride (Kathryn Pogson) to a young man receiving some sort of magical potion from a stranger (Terence Stamp, in an uncredited cameo) to a village that traps a wolf whose paw transforms into a human hand.

Enhanced by Bryan Loftus's lighting and the music of George Fenton, "The Company of Wolves" is deliberately paced but full of atmosphere; one does feel like they are being transported to another time and place. It's also full of creepy imagery, and Christopher Tucker contributes makeup and transformation effects that may not quite measure up to what Rick Baker and Rob Bottin devised for their respective werewolf classics ("An American Werewolf in London", "The Howling"), but are striking nevertheless. The dialogue created by Angela Carter has a very literate quality. The cast - ever delightful Lansbury, Rea, David Warner, Graham Crowden, Brian Glover, Danielle Dax, Jim Carter - does creditable work, with young Patterson convincingly essaying an essential innocence.

This film remains somewhat forgotten today, having come in the wake of those aforementioned werewolf pictures, so for lovers of the sub genre, it should be worth their while to discover it.

Seven out of 10.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Grim furry tales.

9/10
Author: tyler-and-jack from Edinburgh.
21 August 2009

Neil Jordan's movie blending and filtering werewolf fables through the mesh of human sexuality stands up (thanks to his superior direction and the source material from Angela Carter) as one of the finest werewolf movies ever made, one of the finest British horrors ever made and simply a modern classic full of memorable moments, potent imagery and surreal visuals.

The movie ostensibly takes place within the dreams of a young girl, Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson), and this allows for a number of disparate and yet subtly linked vignettes covering a range of traditional werewolf stories. We get the returning huntsman, the gypsy curse and the stranger in the woods among others, most of them related to young Rosaleen by granny (Angela Lansbury giving an absolutely wonderful performance). And there's always that Little Red Riding Hood imagery to play around with too.

Lavishly executed, this movie mixes some of the very best and artistic visuals ever seen in the werewolf movie subgenre with a clever script delivered by a mixed cast that includes the ever-watchable likes of Stephen Rea, Brian Glover, David Warner and Terence Stamp. It also adds a perfect finishing touch to things with a haunting score that, come the darkly magical finale, will have goosebumps appearing all over your arms.

Certainly not to all tastes, I can only hope that if you do choose to give this movie a viewing that you do so with an open mind and eyes and ears opened to take in every detail, nuance, fine little touch and delightful thread in a tapestry that covers a hell of a lot of ground concerning the nature of the beast inside us all.

See this if you like: Ginger Snaps, The Addiction, The Cell.

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