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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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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

stylish classy werewolf tale

10/10
Author: vampi1960 from United States
8 October 2006

Neil Jordan's company of wolves is a very stylish and classy werewolf tale.and a kind of an adult version of little red riding hood,don't get the wrong idea not an adult porno version but an adult fairytale.much like Jordan's latter interview with the vampire(94)and this boasts a great cast as well..., Angela lansbury,David warner,Stephen Rea,and Terence stamp in a small part.the special effects are bizarre and original.no cheap gore effects.a great soundtrack.and great photography. don't expect the overdone werewolf stuff,this is done more elaborate. this came out after American werewolf in London and the howling.i found company of wolves to be a great fantasy werewolf movie.and a personal favorite.watch this around Halloween.Angela lansbury is great as the wise old grandmother of red riding hood warning her of the wolves in the forest.i recommend company of wolves.10 out of 10.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

More magical than Merlin, Grimmer than the Grimmest Grimm fairy-tale…

10/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
3 June 2008

Don't you just love it when you re-watch a childhood favorite and it turns out the film still has the exact same mesmerizing and enchanting effect on you that it had all those years ago? More than usually, it's the other way around. The movies you loved as a child too often become disappointing when seen through adult eyes, but luckily enough there are certain exceptions. Neil Jordan's "The Company of Wolves", for example, is a timeless masterpiece and truly expedient for all type of audiences, regardless of their age category. When I first watched this movie (admittedly when I was a little TOO young), I was disturbed, fascinated, overwhelmed and deeply impressed for life. Remembering the unique plot concept, the macabre and haunting set pieces, the continuously ominous atmosphere, the petrifying werewolf-transformations and – last but not least – the cherubic appearance of lead girl Sarah Patterson (she might even been my first crush), "The Company of Wolves" was the greatest cinematic experience I ever had and even now, approximately 15 years later, I like it possibly even better.

"The Company of Wolves" is much more than just a horror movie about werewolves. It's a totally unique and nearly unclassifiable fantasy event that requires your full attention and the fully operational activity of all your sensory perceptions in order to absorb and process all the little details like creators Neil Jordan and Angela Carter intended them. This is quite possibly the most uniquely structured film of the 80's, with stories within stories and flashbacks within dream sequences; characters leaping through different time eras or even universes and the content effortlessly blends contemplative metaphors with old-fashioned and simplistic fright elements. The storyline involves a re-enactment of the famous "Little Red Riding Hood" tale, but the script regularly strays off from this main theme (ironically, since granny frequently advises never to stray off from the main paths) and narrates other, smaller stories. They're all connected, however, since they all revolve on wolves. Rosaleen's granny teaches her to be wary of men whose eyebrows meet and who are hairy on the inside, yet somehow she always encounters them; whether during her walks through the woods or in tell-tales. The primal plot is outstanding, but the secondary stories are actually even better.

Apart from a profound and allegoric effort, "The Company of Wolves" is definitely also a rudimentary unsettling and disturbing movie. The moody landscapes (dark forests, fog-enshrouded swamps…) and nightmarish scenery (dolls and toys coming to life) all contribute in making this British folklore movie creepier than 99% of all horror movies. The make-up effects, and then of course the man-into-werewolf transformations in particular, are stupendous and easily among the greatest ever conveyed in British cinema. I know the transformation in "An American Werewolf in London" is legendary – and deservedly so – but the make up art here comes darn close. Neil Jordan's style is pretty much flawless and surefooted at all times, regardless of how complex the narrative structure sometimes becomes. He also had a great cast at his disposal, including Angela Lansburry (a marvelous role), David Warner and Stephen Rea. Lead girl Sarah Patterson is breathtaking in every way, and it's truly incomprehensible she didn't (want to?) become one the most successful actresses of her generation. There are probably a few shortcomings to be found in "The Company of Wolves", but personally I didn't notice any of them. According to me, this is – simply put - a bona fide masterwork.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Wolves are nothing compared to grannies

7/10
Author: siderite from Romania
7 August 2013

I can't really seem to rate this film in any way. It is basically a filmed play, all the actors behaving as such and the sets created in that sort of style. The plot is using Red Riding Hood as a background, but all dark and adult, to tell a series of stories regarding wolves in people clothing. The structure is rather that of a dream, with confusing blending in of characters and icons.

Even if it has scenes one usually associates with horror, like transformations of people into wolves (the first being one of the best and creepy I've ever seen) this is hardly a horror movie. It is more a dark story telling, perhaps akin to what the original Grimm brothers were writing. Elements of sexuality, betrayal, rage, insanity and violence are found throughout the film.

Despite all that, the creepiest character of all seemed to me to be Angela Lansbury's granny. Devious and androphobic, the old woman is happy to use the pretext of caring after a young girl following the girl's sister gruesome murder in order to "educate" her into the ways of the world, where she must never stray from the path or trust strangers. Of course, this had some sense in the context of the movie, but brrrr.. what a spooky character, portrayed perfectly by the veteran actress.

So, was the film good? I guess it was. Was it entertaining? Not really. The sets, the clothing, the storyline and the acting were all meant to create the atmosphere. In that sense it was mostly unique and successful, but I still can't say if I liked it or not.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Go on, stray off the path a little.

8/10
Author: SlinkyVamp from Netherlands
27 June 2013

I'm the only person I know who's actually seen this film, let alone loved it, so it's nice to be able to share my enthusiasm for this rich little gem.

Why do I love this film? Well, let's start at the very beginning. I adore it when a movie's title is open to interpretation and could be taken in any number of differing ways. Is this about wolves in various guises as companions, whether literal or metaphorical, or are they merely playing a role in some elaborate scenario in our personal fabrication of reality? As it turns out, both. This flick is BIG on the symbolism and the worst wolves are, to quote, "hairy on the inside."

Secondly, and let's not beat about the bush ( pun entirely intentional ) the movie is positively dripping dark Gothic sexuality. Not that is has any sex scenes per se ( though there is the least erotic lovemaking scene between the heroine, Rosaleen's, parents at one point ), but it's a Freudian orgy. Sensuality swamps practically every scene, and though it has been known for me to over-analyse a tad ;) it's hard to resist the urge to intermittently shout out "ooh, lipstick as a labia metaphor!" or "That tree has a phallus!" ( which is why I stopped watching films with my parents decades ago... I think I was embarrassing them.)

"Oh come ON Mum !!!! The tree quite obviously has a penis!!" "I think I'll go make a pot of tea now..."

Like the much later "Ginger Snaps" lycanthropy is pretty much a metaphor for sexual awakening, however, here the nature of the beast is firmly rooted in seduction. Even the walks in the mist-shrouded forests bring a quickening of the pulse that can't always be attributed to unease.

Possibly my fascination for this collection of stories within a story comes from seeing it for the first time when sexuality was foremost in my own mind. That said, it is classified as a horror movie and has a couple of impressive wolf transformations that haven't aged too badly, though they distracted me from my preferred focus of the Gothic ambiance. In my world Beauty and the Beast wouldn't have been totally ruined by the Beast becoming yet another bland Prince, and the happy couple would have embraced their attraction and maybe popped out a few puppies or something. But then I would have preferred Beauty to have not been put off by her beau having a bit of extra fur on him. Likewise, when the wronged 'witch' in one of the tales exposes the vile aristocracy for the savage beasts they truly are, and thereby commanding the respect she deserved, then I, for one, cheered her on.

If I were to have one criticism it would be this : the movie is often interpreted as having a feminist bias, with the men all being portrayed as beasts in disguise, cruel brutes, or seducers. Whilst I can see why a confused and blossoming pubescent girl may see things this way it's only balanced by a quote from Rosaleen's mother that goes, "It there's a beast in men it meets it's match in women too."

Things this film has taught me? 1) If his eyebrows meet in the middle and he speaks with an accent then he wants in her pants. And 2) "My, what big teeth......." leads exactly where you'd expect it to.

Some fabulous little performances all round, but you don't really watch it for the Oscar winning acting. Give it a go, you might actually like it if you have a taste for the quirky with a slight under-taste of perverse.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Strange to some audiences but if you know what to expect you'll like this

9/10
Author: WakenPayne from Valhalla
21 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The one main reason why I wanted to see this is because I have seen it compared very regularly to a similar (but less arthousey) movie Ginger Snaps. After watching this I can see why. Both of them use lycanthropy as a metaphor for growing up. When I compare both I don't know which I prefer, mainly because both use completely different methods of getting this message across.

The plot is that Rosaleen's sister dies because she went into the woods and strayed from the path. After her funeral her grandmother (Angela Lansbury) takes Rosaleen into her house for the night and tells her a story about newly-weds. The groom (Stephen Rea) leaves on their wedding night inexplicably and returns years later after the bride knows the truth, marries another and has three kids, basically telling Rosaleen that men are beasts. Then there are a few other stories told like a man getting hair growth and being taken by the forest (I know, weird) and a wedding reception where the groom gets a visit from a woman he impregnated and the impregnated woman turns all the guests into wolves. Then we have a basic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, only this time The Huntsman and The Wolf are one and the same character. Rosaleen then tells the story of a She-Wolf getting shot and injured, then transforms back into a woman in front of a priest who heals her wound and afterward hides. Rosaleen then accepts that she wants to change into a wolf and does so.

Okay, if you are interested yet art-housy movies dripping with symbolism that you have to work out aren't your taste then instead try Ginger Snaps instead (yes that movie also has symbolism but it's a lot more subtle). If however you do enjoy movies like this then pick it up immediately.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

About the beast within us

8/10
Author: Grann-Bach (Grann-Bach@jubii.dk) from Denmark
23 November 2010

Rosaleen is a young and innocent girl who dreams of living in an 18th century rural village, and through the framing device(note that this does require you to pay close attention and analyze the content) of her experiencing or being told stories of werewolves(and no, not all of the ones seen in this are dogs…!), mostly by her overprotective Granny(Angela Lansbury), their sexual connotation is explored. There is *a lot* to think about in this, and the 90 or so minutes pass incredibly fast, and you'll find yourself gripped by it. The dialog is marvellously written, and most lines have significance or deeper meaning to them. I have not read the stories by Angela Carter that this is based upon, but I would like to. This is like a folkloric fairytale, and it's a brilliant piece of cinematic fantasy. It's visually stunning, with numerous symbolic images, surreal sights and sounds, a creepy, chilling atmosphere and a haunting score. We get several impeccable and terrifying transformations, and in general, the FX, whilst somewhat dated today, are fantastic. The acting is spot-on, for everyone, including the animals(!). Patterson takes your breath away, and her appearance and movements perfectly illustrate her curiosity and gradually disappearing childhood. Stamp shines in a cameo. The director of Interview with a Vampire shows his skill in this, too... I understand that The Crying Game is also well worth the time. There is brutal, disturbing content and a little tasteful nudity in this. The DVD comes with a trailer that gives a lot away. I recommend this to those who love thinking about the films they watch. It is a strange picture that not everyone will like, though. 8/10

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Very Surreal Film, indeed.

7/10
Author: lace_and_combat_boots from United States
16 May 2006

although it has been awhile since i have seen this film, i remember it being incredibly surreal yet visually stunning as well. whenever weird films are brought up in conversation, i usually mention this one.

true to the themes in many other of Neil Jordan's films (including Interview with the Vampire and The Crying Game) he utilizes man vs. nature theme as well as incorporating in androgynous characters. the film also hones in upon the idea of the werewolf as a more sensual mythological creature, the same idea he embellished in Interview with the Vampire by using sensual yet tragic beings of the damned. the werewolves in this movie are both beautiful and frightening.

see this movie if u are sick of bloody werewolf movies and if u wanna see a new spin on the topic.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

True cult-movie

8/10
Author: Sebastian-20 from Netherlands
7 July 2001

This is a wonderful film about fairytales, werewolves, growing up into adolescence and much folklore. It is not really a horror-movie, but that doesn't matter. In the early 80's you had a couple of horror-movies, like An American werewolf in London and The Howling, which were much more successful, but "Company of wolves" has become a real cult-movie.

I liked the acting of both Sarah Patterson as Rosaleen, and Angela Lansbury as Granny, and the rest of the cast also was nice.

If you like a strange film once in a while, see this one!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Some fairy tales aren't for children...

7/10
Author: apoyser (apoyser@jove.acs.unt.edu) from Texas, United States
27 June 2000

This is an interesting film. I don't know if I'd classify it as "horror," since it seems to have more of a dark fantasy/fairy tale feel. It is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, a dream sequence, a coming-of-age story, and a werewolf movie all rolled into one.

But don't assume, because I mention fairy tales, that it's for kids. No, this is more along the lines of the original Brothers Grimm tales, and each story (told either by the grandmother or Rosaleen), has a macabre twist. I especially enjoyed the sequence about the "witch" who gets revenge on her erstwhile paramour at his wedding.

Anyway, viewers expecting a typical blood-and-gore horror flick will be disappointed. It *does* have some gory transformation scenes, but they seemed out-of-place in the movie, and its real strength, in my opinion, lay in the folkloric/fairy tale approach. Many of the images stayed with me long after I had seen the movie. It may prove inspirational to artists of any medium.

Oh, and on a purely lascivious note, you ladies may enjoy watching the "huntsman," Micha Bergese, whom Rosaleen meets on the path to her grandmother's house. ;) I certainly did.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

could have been perfect

9/10
Author: pan-10
12 April 2000

Has an other-worldly effect. With Val Lewton's help, subtlety, some haunting music, his awesome lighting effects, this could have been absolutely perfect. As others have mentioned, the special effects badly mar this still-outstanding film. The irritating special effects being the very noisy and very obnoxious human to wolf transformation scenes. I think that it still could be greatly improved by editing out those scenes. 8 stars. 9 or 9 1/2 if it was edited. Stick in a Val Lewton-street musician or two and edit it and I'll give it a ten!

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