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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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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Masterpiece Deserving Cult Stature

10/10
Author: toshiro-5 (mpiskai@snip.net) from Blue Bell, PA
21 March 2000

Underrated. Just that one word is a perfect description for this movie. I can be silent no longer. This movie deserves a wider audience, a cult audience definitely. The Company of Wolves was let down by a marketing strategy when it opened in America a year after a successful Brit premiere, labelled as a sub-par blood 'n' guts horror film. Even today, you can still find it in the horror section at the local video store. The videotape box packaging, while cool-looking, does little to dispel the notion. What a tragedy.

I have heard TCOW described as a thinking-person's horror film, and I would say that this is about right. There is a lot of psychological drama, some Freudian ideas, Jungian imagery, and a clever Little Red Riding Hood re-working. Much of the film takes place on sound stages, and the film stock is grainy, giving the movie a strange, other-worldly quality to it. Anton Furst, later of Batman fame, did the production design. Plus, you've got some great character actors here: we're talking Angela Landsberry, David Warner, even Terrence Stamp. And what Neil Jordan-helmed film would be complete without Steven Rea? The brightest star of the film, though, is undoubtedly Sarah Patterson, portraying the main character of the teenage girl. Why she never became a superstar is beyond me. She gives an awe-inspiring and truly believable performance as the teenage female protagonist.

Sure, the film has its flaws. The special effects ARE cheesy by today's standards. The wolf-transformation sequences are unnecessarily long, bloody, and LOUD. And if you do not go into the film with an open mind, or a brain period, you will not understand what is going on, and you will be bored. The movie is not for everyone.

Please, though, give the movie a chance.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf. Do You Build Your House With Straw, Sticks, Bricks Or Your Deepest Desires?

10/10
Author: johnstonjames from United States
13 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this has always been my favorite 'Werewolf' movie since i first saw it some twenty-five years ago. 'Werewolf' movies are great and the original is definitely a classic if not a little wooden and hokey. there is nothing wooden or hokey about Neil Jordan's 'Company of Wolves', as cinema horror it's still very different and original, and simply as story telling, i can't think of too many experiences that the viewer is so immersed in such a dream like, subconscious state.

the whole film is about the subconscious and the inner workings of our often complex and mysterious libidos. there is no actual plot to the movie. what little story there is, is interwoven with dreamy, sensual,analogies which parable our different states of our subconscious mind. they are dreamily revealing and disturbing stories like "the boy and the devil" or the story of "the wedding". the reaction of the girl's mother after being told "the wedding" story is amusing. after hearing her daughter tell the story, the mother says in distaste, "where on earth did you hear a story like that?", where the girl flatly replies,"from granny".

that brings us to the character of granny. i think little red is probably in better hands with the wolves. i mean the wolf has met his match with this granny, she's even more sinister and scary than he is. at least the wolf tries to tell some simple, straight forward truths. unlike the sexually repressed, outrageous exaggerations of the grandmother who tries to get the girl to fear men and her own adolescent sexuality. this is without a doubt one of Angela Lansbury's best performances and reminds you of what a skilled professional she was before she got saddled with the innocuous blandness of the whole 'murder she wrote' thing.

i have to make note of one reviewer who called this film "anti-male". you're kidding me right. can someone really miss the message of something that much. oh the falls of taking something too literally and not looking deep enough. the role of the granny and her fear mongering about the male sex is supposed to be funny and sexually repressed. any one who misses the deeper point of something that much, should seek some kind of therapy for deeper introspection.

everything about this film is brilliant and beautiful and moving. every time i see it i feel like i'm having a strange dream. a dream that involves my own subconscious and that of everyone else's as well. this film is so much about our mutual collective. this is a trip into the woods that everyone should take, male or female, seducer or the seduced, predator or prey, you will start to dream the strangest things about yourself.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Best werewolf movie ever made?

9/10
Author: rose-294 from Finland
18 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on the short stories by Angela Carter and written by Carter and director Neil Jordan, this is slow-moving but visually fantastic (in both meanings of the word!) werewolf film. Young girl (Sarah Patterson) dreams herself in the fairytale world and old village surrounded by forest full of wolves and werewolves. Her grandmother is played by Angela Lansbury, top-billed but in the supporting role, while the studio sets, costumes and rich photography create the wonderful fairytale/dream world. And the effect where white flower turns to red by blood is stunningly beautiful! I am not fan of Carter's morals - Bloody chamber and other tales, collection which featured the stories inspiring this film, was polluted by some gratuitous yuck effects and really sordid ageism against middle-aged and old persons - but she was a hell of a talent: it was fantastic read.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It makes me sad how underrated this masterpiece really is..

10/10
Author: Jouni Heinonen (jakkiih@hotmail.com) from Finland
7 June 2006

Company of Wolves is perhaps one of the most underrated masterpieces that comes to mind. The movie can be seen in so many different ways, and most of the people watch it may have watched it without thinking enough. Anyways.. the whole movie is a symbolic reference of growing from a girl to a woman. End of innocence and the blossoming sexuality confuses the Rosalee's mind in shape of dreams.

The fantasy world in the movie is created by a genius. Everything seen and heard (Toys, dolls, mirrors, clocks, instruments, dogs barking, sister knocking the door etc.) in her room, appears in the dream sequences. I would see the mysterious ending like this: The girl finally understand, that she's not a child anymore. All the toys crashing down, like the illusion of innocence. Like many do in some pace of their youth, they go and bury their childhood toys.

"Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man who's eyebrows meet" says the magnificent Angela Lansbury as Rosalee's grandmother. Rosaleen is like a Little Red Riding Hood in a dark forest, full of wolves. The image of a wolf piercing through a human body is used in the posters and covers of the movie. Although its an effective scene, and pretty well made, it doesn't give the right image of the film.

The irish director Neil Jordan is well known for movies like Crying game and Interview with a Vampire. I can't say that I don't like his other films, like Mona Lisa, End of Affair and the ones above, but I think this is much better in so many ways..

The Star of Company of Wolves is absolutely Rosaleen, that is Sarah Patterson. She has only starred in two pieces after this amazing debut. She has starred in Snow White few years after this. I haven't seen that one, but the role sounds like one that she's made for.

There are too little movies like this one. Jim Henson's Labyrinth or Jan Svankmajer's Alice would be the next best thing. I recommend this to everybody who likes a good fairytale, beautiful and clever fantasy or just a great movie.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant grim fairy tale

10/10
Author: (Vomitron_G) from the Doomed Megalopolis of Blasphemous Technoids
3 February 2006

Neil Jordan's THE COMPANY OF WOLVES simply is an amazing, beautiful and terrifying film. It's based on a story written by Angela Carter who herself used a lot of references to "Little Red Riding Hood". As much as the movie is a fairy tale it also is a tale of horror. The film mostly takes place in a dream-world and the plot cleverly mixes stories within stories to a point were there isn't actually an over-all story-line nor does there seem to be a clearly defined point to it all. There is one, but you'll have to figure it out by yourself, 'cause there are several clues to be found throughout the movie. And the title also makes sense near the end of the dream-story.

But how can a movie without a coherent story-line keep your attention from the first frame to the last? I'll tell you: with it's most enchanting visuals. Some shots and effects are just pure poetry. And some of the make-up effects are not for the squeamish either. The transformations from man to wolf are original and effective. The sets are fantastic and the use of lighting and shadow is perfect. The camera-moves (and every shot for that matter) are well thought-out. The atmosphere of the movie is brilliant: from dream-like fantasy to scary horror. The first dream-sequence, for example, is much scarier than your average Freddy Krueger-nightmare.

The performances are all very good and it's nice to see familiar faces like Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Stephen Rea and even Terence Stamp. But it really is Sarah Patterson who steals the show as Rosaleen. She has this sexual intensity shining through. Slightly innocent, yet strong and feminine.

But what really makes this film tick, are the use of symbolism and metaphors. You might see a film about werewolves, but it's really a story about a girl coming of age and the dawning of her own sexuality. Did you noticed that one shot of a white rose turning all red with blood stains? I think you get the idea behind that one, right? It's probably the most mature film handling the werewolf-theme ever made. And it's even disguised as a (horrific) fairy tale.

This film is a little masterpiece because it's so unique and quite possibly the most original werewolf-movie you'll ever see. And if you'd like to see a more light-hearted approach to horror-versions of fairy tales you might consider checking out the B-gem DEADTIME STORIES. Just don't expect brilliant class-A stuff like THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. And remember, boys & girls: "Never trust a man whose eyebrows meet".

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

definitely more than meets the eye, yes.

8/10
Author: izzydigzmuzik17 from United States
15 September 2005

Well, i stumbled upon this film one sleepless night. I had never heard of it before and decided to give it a chance. I am very glad that i did, for it is one of the darkest films i have seen. The cinematography and the acting are top notch. I can honestly say that it took me by surprise. I agree with the other gentlemen when referring to the transformation sequences. Definitely some of the best work i have ever seen. It seems as though this movie was casted perfectly. I must admit that i was absolutely captivated with the main character, Rosaleen. I gave this an 8 out of 10 rating. Now understand this is not a professional rating. Meaning that i rated it on how much this film meant to me, not based on simple critique. The score for this film is one of the best i've heard. It might just be the best. The music, to me, is absolutely haunting. It certified it as a classic in my book.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I love this little film

Author: claire ryan (claireryan_2003)
14 November 2004

The company of Wolves. why is it so underrated? A simple low budget sweet tale that everybody knows cleverly put together into this horror masterpiece with a few more short stories added. Special Effects are great. I love the first story the most where they cut the Werewolves head off and it turns back human. I'm probably going to upset a few people now when I rate the special effects more than In An American Werewolf In London. But the best bit if all is all the god damn German Shepherds jumping through the window at the end. Believable as Wolves Not - but still such a delicious, entertaining, humorous and gory. The Company Of Wolves is OK in my book.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The Inner Lives of Teenage Girls

Author: jamesbrock
11 January 2004

I cannot recommend this movie highly enough.

The Company of Wolves is Little Red Riding Hood, expanded into it's essential truth, and told on the screen as stories within a dream. Everything is here; the girl, the wolf, the mysterious and terrible Wald that vomits up the kind of black myths which only inhabit the inner world of young girls and midieval Germans.

Angela Lansbury is Granny, the role she was born to play; "Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet."

I'd didn't realize how numb I had become to CGI until I watched this movie with it's meaty animatronics. Also featured is a very large and diverse cast of real animals, most of whom make brief cameos as portents in obscure corners of the frame. Man, there's nothing for communicating animalness like real animals. It must have been a pain to choreograph the animals in the movie, but so worth it.

If you've noticed that the more rich people get, the less able they are to distinguish human beings from animals (Picture: a dog, dressed in a sweater, seated at a high chair in a restaurant, eating off the table out of a crystal bowl. This actually happens in the tonier and more depraved neighborhoods in America) then you will love the 19th century wedding scene.

A true fairy tale doesn't have a moral, but it does have rules. "Mummy, does daddy hurt you when he... it sounds like... the beast Granny talked about." "Your Granny ... knows a lot, but she doesn't know everything. And if there's a beast in men, it meets it's match in women too."

Hahaha fair enough.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Beautiful Fairy Tale

Author: Gafke from United States
3 January 2004

The Company of Wolves, brought to us by Neil Jordan, the director of Interview With The Vampire is, in my humble opinion, one of his very best films. A werewolf story based upon Little Red Riding Hood, The Company of Wolves is seen through the eyes of young Rosaleen, a girl on the verge of puberty, curious about her budding sexuality and yet still hanging on to her magical childhood. This isn't the first time that puberty has been compared to lycanthropy, but it is probably the most well done, subtle and sweet and yet filled with terror.

As the film opens, we are introduced to a well-to-do British family living on their country estate. The youngest of two children, both girls, little Rosaleen has locked herself in her childhood bedroom at the top of the stairs, complaining of a tummy ache, (most likely her first menstrual cramps) surrounded by toys she has outgrown and wearing her sisters stolen lipstick. She sleeps fitfully and eventually dreams herself into a fairy tale, a dark forest filled with magic and terror. Here she becomes Little Red Riding Hood, a young girl whose sister has been killed by wolves and whose grandmother fills her head with fantasies, all of which are thinly veiled warnings against overt sexuality and promiscuity. But although Little Red is quite smart and fearless, nothing can quite prepare her for the Hunstman she meets in the woods, a seductive and dangerous man who is very much what he appears to be...a predator.

Sarah Patterson, who was only fourteen when she played the role of Rosaleen, is amazing, quite up to the task of acting amongst a well seasoned cast that includes Angela Lansbury as Granny and David Warner as Father. Perhaps simply because of her age, she makes her character totally believable; a shy, sweet child one moment, a self-assured and alluring woman the next. The story that unfolds around her is a pure fairy tale the way fairy tales were meant to be told; dark and frightening, but also bright and lovely. All of the performances are wonderful. Jordan keeps the perspective at that of a young girl through the entire film and makes it work, the powers of sexuality and adulthood virtually overwhelming young Rosaleen at films end. The small smile that Rosaleen's mother gives her "changed" daughter at films end says it all; there is no escaping the beast, but maybe it's not as bad a transformation as people think it is.

The effects look dated, but the story never feels that way at all. This is one of the best werewolf films ever made.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Liked it!

10/10
Author: elenoid (elenoid@iloveu.com) from Under the Waves
29 June 2003

I really liked this one. It's a real high leveled movie. I liked the plot, it's really unusual, and I liked the story that the granny told Sarah she tells it to the wolves, it was really... dark-bit twisted-beautiful scene. And the story where the rich man turned to a wolf was really brilliant! I think anybody with taste would like it.

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