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|Index||108 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Company of Wolves is not one of the better werewolf horrors I have
seen, and certainly not the worst, but falls somewhere in between. The
movie is a very cheap British horror movie borrowing on several of the
old fairy tales (i.e. Little Red Riding Hood, The Boy Who Cried Wolf,
etc) to illustrate stories told by a grandmother (Angela Lansbury) to
her last surviving teen granddaughter. The dialogue is more like prose
rather than a regular story of demons living in the woods preying on
the villagers and such, though werewolf movie fans may appreciate the
originality and some of the special effects (the initial transformation
scenes are great), if nothing else.
The movie is told through a sequence of stories that grandmother tells her granddaughter. Things like how the werewolves are identified, tales of women unknowingly marrying them, and so forth. Stories that the granddaughter takes to heart as she experiences similar courtships, first with the idiotic blacksmith boy, and then moving on to a scene in the woods where she is wooed by a stranger. The ultimate question: does she give in to the wolves? It is more like Old English literature, so there is a particular audience for this movie.
**SPOiLERS** Locked in her room and asleep Rosaleen, Sarah
Patterson,has a sting of dreams about "Old Wolves Tales" that culminate
at the end of the movie "The Company of Wolves" in the Brothers Grimm
story of "Little Red Riding Hood".
Roaleen's sequence of dreams start with her older sister Alice,Georgia Slowe, becoming trapped in the woods and attacked and killed by a wolf pack. After ALice's funeral Rosaleen goes with her Granny, Angela Lansbury, home and is told a number of wolf stories by her that shapes her mind about the evil and cunning of those wild and deadly creatures of the forest. Granny tells Rosaleen of how wolves can turn into human beings and trick young girls like herself to fall in love with them and breed new generations of wolf-men. Humans who can go from being wolves to being human and not be recognized and end up being killed by the townspeople.
Told to watch out for these wolf-men by being able to spot them, their eyebrows meet, Rosaleen develops a sense of ease when in the company of wolves or persons who are wolves in human disguise.This may be the reason she was not terrified of the wolf man who eventually killed and ate granny at the end of the movie.
In the dream that Rosaleen had it become evident that she herself was, or became, a wolf. The final sequence has her and a pack of wolves storm out of the woods and out of her dream as her unconscious fantasy becomes a shocking and awakened reality at the conclusion of the movie.
Eerie and surrealistic film that has some of the best wolf transformation, as well as real wolves pack, sequences ever put on film. "Company of Wolves" has all the fears and horrors, many that have been proved over the years to be totally unfounded, that man has associated with those wild and mysterious animals. It's theses horror stories that lead to the extinction of the wolf in most of the places where man and wolf lived together for centuries.
When I read on the back of the cover, the movie seemed interesting. I
have a thing for very strange movies, and I loved this one. I love how
many of the old folklore-myths about wolves and werewolves have been
written into this movie. I think it was easy to predict the ending, but
that is maybe because I was able to put myself in Rosaleen's place -
and I love wolves and werewolves and folklore-tales, so this movie and
it's plot was perfect for me.
I recommend it to anyone who loves werewolves, who loves movies that don't have action all the time, but leaves a space to think. And it makes you watch it, because what will happen in the end? The only thing I would like to have seen more of, was Rosaleen's real life - we only see her sleep, so we're not really getting to know her very much. The only links we have to about how she is, is how her parents and her sister talks about her in the beginning. But otherwise a very good and interesting movie - I recommend it! :)
Along with Dario Argento's "Suspiria"(1977)this is one of the most dream-like horror movies ever made.I love this one,although I still think that "Suspiria" is better.The cast is excellent,especially young Sarah Patterson as a Rosaleen,who simply steals the show.The transformation scenes are pretty gruesome and effective,and the film looks wonderful-great imagery!More fairy tale than horror "The Company of Wolves" is a must-see for all horror fans,who doesn't mind something different.
Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) is a teenage girl experiencing menarche,
asleep and dreaming in her bed all day. She dreams of being a medieval
peasant girl who spends most of her time with her Granny (Angela
Lansbury), listening to her tell precautionary fairy tales about
werewolves. Most of the "The Company of Wolves" takes place in
Rosaleen's dreamworld, and what a fantasy world it is! The best scene
in the movie takes place at the beginning, where her sister is running
around the woods, being attacked by giant toys and wolves. At times it
plays like a children's' movie, but this ain't Little Red Riding Hood!
It is rich in sexual metaphors, and it features one of the coolest (and
nastiest!) werewolf transformation scenes I've seen. The acting is
stellar, the atmosphere is creepy, and the visuals are startling and
surreal. Recommended to all fans of fantasies and for a different kind
of werewolf movie.
My Rating: 8/10.
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.
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.
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
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.
*** 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.
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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