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

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24 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Magical, captivating.

Author: snowgrouse from Finland
16 March 2002

A beautiful adaptation of Angela Carter's sublime work. This film has all the otherworldliness and the horror of traditional fairy tales; at the same time we are transported to a mythic realm but somewhere deep inside we recognize we are within the human psyche itself. This is a story, or several stories woven together, of a girl's slow transformation into a woman, of sexual initiation and the fear of adulthood and responsibility veiled in metaphors of fairy tales, narrated in a captivating, dreamlike fashion. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous movie, I highly recommend it to any lover of fairy tales and fantasy.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I still love it

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:

Bizarre Psychological Werewolf horror

Author: meddlecore from Canada
28 October 2015

What a bizarre film.

Fashioned in vein of Tales of The Brothers Grimm, this early Neil Jordan (The Crying Game; Interview With A Vampire) fantasy horror weaves a vampire-like seduction into the traditional red riding hood tale.

It's heavy on the fantasy, as opposed to the horror. But when it does kick into horror-mode it gets pretty badass. The transformations are among the best I've seen...second only, maybe, to the one in American Werewolf In London.

Essentially, we have a young lady who has fallen asleep while reading werewolf tales; and begins to dream she is playing a leading role in a story in which she finds herself being seduced by a charming werewolf-man....after wandering off the the path in the woods. Insert psychoanalysis here.

The young lass is being groomed by her Grandmother to be a proper young lady. She warns her of the dangers that lurk off the path in the woods- granted she ever dare wander. She even made her a red shawl to wear.

A boy from town is constantly trying to woo the young lady, but to no avail. No one manages to catch her eye until she meets a charming gentleman in the woods- who intercepts her on her way to her Grandmother's house...and he just so happens to be a werewolf.

The back-story is introduced through flashbacks and recounts told by the old Grandmother; and young girl (in real time) to her mother (after she wakes up). This covers stuff like the death of her sister; why she began to wander off the path; and various excerpts from local legends- detailing the historic accounts of werewolf encounters.

Lot's of weird stuff happens in this film: from girls running among giant mushrooms away from wolves that seem like hellhounds; and toy babies hatching from mention only a couple.

But considering it is all occurring in a dreamstate (up until maybe the end, but probably even then), this surely opens the door to symbolic readings and interpretations. There very well may be some esoteric message tied in there somewhere...but if there was, it wasn't overtly evident to me. So it probably leaves room for a broad spectrum of interpretation.

That being said...the scenery and costumes are pretty cool. And, as was previously mentioned, the transformations are f*cking sweet. Especially the one where dude rips his face off until he's just muscles...although, the one where the wolf bursts through the guy's mouth is pretty rad too. Not to mention that tongue gimmick...

I suppose this qualifies as a psychological werewolf horror, due to it's non-linear structure, and the fact that it's grounded in a dream world. I didn't take the time to read too much into the symbolism in this one (when I usually do haha), but it does seem to be chock full of it. And there is just enough crazy special effects (no cgi-bs) and gore to keep you horror fans interested too. Recommended.

7 out of 10.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Interesting take on werewolf lore.

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.

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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Visually Interesting "Grown-Up" Version Of RED RIDING HOOD...

Author: EVOL666 from St. John's Abortion Clinic
9 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this film so long ago that I forgot how cool it really is. Finally got around to watching it again (thanks Dan...) and am pretty surprised how much I enjoyed it on this second viewing. THE COMPANY OF WOLVES is a strange and visually stunning film. The story will be familiar to just about anyone, but the execution is very original...

Long-and-short: A young girl lies in bed and dreams of a dream-world where she plays the character of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.

COMPANY is a strange mix of childish fairy-tale, and "grown-up" material, including a few decent gore scenes, some cool werewolf transformations, and even a few boobies (and some brief full-frontal!!!). Some VERY notable performances and cameos, and the settings and costumes are top-notch. A must for werewolf fans, or those that dig off-beat horror. Recommended - 8.5/10

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

* * *1/2 out of 4.

Author: Brandon L. Sites ( from USA
4 June 2002

Highly original, unpredictable, visually lush horror / fantasy is a contemporary updating of the Little Red Riding Hood story full of sexuality and frightening images. The cast is unusually good and director Jorden's direction is highly inventive. Some people complain about the film's slow pace, but I think it actually works in favor of the film. It lets things slowly and gradually enfold building layer upon layer of terror and building characterizations instead of forcing uncredible situations and other cliches upon the audience. An exceptional achievement.

Rated R; Graphic Violence.

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