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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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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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: jonathandoe_se7en
31 August 2001

The Company of wolves is one of those rare films that just refuses to work on an ordinary narrative, instead lulling the viewer into a dreamlike state, allowing us to decipher the hidden codes that are woven deep into the story. The film is basically a coming of age tale, the story of a young girl's growing sexual awareness, her fear's of men, sex and relationships. The fears of having to grow up and leave behind the innocent days of granny's stories and innocent childhood games, giving fuel to the realities of the fables. The film does become unstuck in places and the sequence with Terrence Stamp's devil seems tacked on, I couldn't find what precedence it held on the plot, but that's the point of this film. It may not be Neil Jordan's best film (in my opinion that is still The Butcher Boy (1997)), but as dreamlike fantasy goes, it stands out as a true original cult classic.


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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The lost of innocence

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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A beautifully crafted fairy tale

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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie! one of my favorites!

Author: anonymous from ohio
29 March 1999

Excellent fantasy movie based on The Little Red Riding Hood story about a young girl and her encounters with werewolves. The cast is great as is the direction scenery and music by George Fenton. One of my all time favorites! Why hasn't Sarah Patterson who played rosaleen been in more movies? She is great! Angela Lansbury is perfect in her part as the wise old grandma who warns Rosaleen about werewolves. Not really a horror movie more of a fantasy. Higly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Something beautiful and charming I've seen one day...

Author: ( from Lithuania
5 March 1999

I liked this film very much. It's not like every usual horror film. It's mysterious and thoughtful, it makes me think about This World. Here everything is made with some kind of secret that always surrounds us. They are here in the dark forest, they are there behind your door and window, they are everywhere. Do not lose your way in the forest. Keep your feet on it.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Rich with Mythic Meaning

Author: clopton from United States
17 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Neil Jordan could never be considered your typical horror filmmaker. He's most well known for his thrillers, frequently set among the beautifully photographed Irish countryside. The director has, on occasion, dabbled in the genre: The supernatural farce "High Spirits," the romantic "Interview with a Vampire," the Freudian psycho-horror of "The Butcher Boy," the botched mainstream thriller "In Dreams," most recently the immensely satisfying undead character study "Byzantium." Near the beginning of his career, however, he created one of the oddest werewolf movies ever made, as far as you could get from a typical horror film, the gorgeous, allegorical "The Company of Wolves."

Adapted from Angela Carter's book of feminist fairy tale reimagings, the film's stories are told through several framing devices. In the modern day, a young girl has locked herself away from her family in her room, suffering from cramps presumably brought on by her first menstruation. She dreams of living in a vaguely medieval village. In the dream, her wise grandmother tells her stories of men becoming wolves. One tale involves a disappeared husband returning to his wife in a most unexpected way, another about a boy meeting the devil. Soon, Rosaleen herself has become the story teller, telling tales of wolves at a wedding and a she-wolf, before the stories seem to invade both her dreaming life and her waking life.

"The Company of Wolves" is fraught with allegory. The film mostly concerns itself with a young girl coming into adulthood, with men and their sexual appetites represented as wolves. In the dream, Rosaleen's older sister has been killed by a wolf. The developing young girl is soon being courted by the neighbor's boy, who urges her to step off the path and kiss him. She doesn't seem much interested and rebukes his advances. At night, she awakens to see her parents making love, an act which seems to confuse and intrigue her. The movie directly confronts the Little Red Riding Hood story in its last act. While on the way to Grandmother's house, Rosaleen meets a charming huntsman. The two flirt openly, the girl obviously attracted to the predatory man. Carter combines the original fable's sexually voracious Big Bad Wolf with the heroic, positively masculine huntsman, not distinguishing between "good" or "bad" sexuality. Once at the house, upon realizing he's a wolf, Rosaleen cast her red hood into the fire, an act heavy with symbolic importance. The ending turns the tables, the young girl taking control over the wolf. Considering the entire movie has associated wolves with wanton sexuality, the ending blatantly implies a girl becoming a woman, embracing sex on her own terms.

Though "The Company of Wolves" is never a typical horror picture, Neil Jordan and his team create some striking, horrifying images. An early moment has Rosaleen stepping through a giant version of her bedroom, her childhood toys transformed into menacing figures. The first werewolf transformation, a man tearing his flesh off to reveal the wolf underneath, is startling and graphic. A wedding party morphing into a pack of wolves is similarly unsettling, the twisted faces reflected in a broken mirror. The best moment comes near the end, the huntsman falling to the ground, contorting, his skin bulging, a wolf bursting from his human flesh. It's hard to say if gore hounds will have the patience for a movie as surreal as "The Company of Wolves" but I suspect they'd truly appreciate moments like these.

Of course, Jordan's images entrance as much as they disgust. The movie's loose, dream-like tone allows the director to create surreal, unforgettable moments. The girl in the red hood scales a tree in the forest, finding a bird's nest full of eggs. She smears on lipstick before the eggs hatch, revealing weeping statues of infants. The implications of sexual awakening and motherhood are fine but the strangeness of the image is far more likely to stick with the viewer. Most memorably, a major character is decapitated, their head flying away and shattering like a porcelain doll. The final tale-within-the-tale is about a female wolf climbing out of a well, an intoxicatingly gorgeous segment that is rich with mythic meaning. Smaller moments shine, like a book full of spiders or a white rose blooming into a red one, each full of symbolic importance.

The cast is filled out with experienced character actors like Angela Lansbury, who is excellent, and David Warner, as well as Jordan regular Stephen Rea. However, Sarah Patterson truly fascinates in the lead role. Her Rosalen is a lovely young girl and Patterson is all too willing to play the part's complexity. The film's interior world is too complicated for Rosaleen to be a simple heroine. Instead, Patterson plays the part with the richness the material demands. The actress has few credits after this which is truly a shame. I would have loved to seen more of her.

From George Fenton's lush score, to Anton Furst's intricate production design, to Bryan Loftus' gorgeous cinematography, "The Company of Wolves" is a fascinating and dark reinvention of classic fairy tales. You could read into the movie's rich subtext or simply let the images wash over you. Either way, you're unlikely to forget it.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fetish - do you dig it?

Author: Jim from Canada
10 November 2005

Speciality films like this are always hard to digest. In Christian societies, the fetish association of sex and violence is taboo. But, this may not have been the case in pagan societies.

The litmus test for this film may be what it tells us about ourselves. Perhaps in the post-modern era, the film is intended to dispel romantic notions about sexuality, and conventional notions about humanity. Although I don't dig it, I respect the makers of this film for the pursuit of their artistic vision.

Is it a classic? It doesn't have the budget or big-name cast to be a Hollywood classic. But, it is admired and imitated. So, it is a classic for those who dig it. Get it?

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The REAL telling of Little Red Diding Hood

Author: chuckl45 from Lambertville, NJ
11 December 2004

I have read that the Brothers Grimm wrote some very horrifying stories that were later turned into "Fairy Tales".....such as this. It IS a story about werewolves. And this movie makes it so. Please, read an older version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales......they aren't really made for children. They also wrote about dragons, vampires, witches, trolls, etc. All based on legend and folklore. Isn't ALL legend and folklore based somewhat on fact?? Twisted or not, there is some substance of fact in the old folklores and legends. Who knows, maybe Lord of the Rings is REALLY true! Nevermind, I've read TOO much about J.R.R.Tolkien........he made it all up.

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