Howling IV: The Original Nightmare
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Reviews & Ratings for
Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (V) More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: Noel (Teknofobe70) from Bromsgrove, England
1 May 2005

Okay here's a great premise -- what would The Howling have been like if it was made by somebody without the talent or good sense of Joe Dante? Well, thanks to the fourth of the dire sequels, now we know. It would have sucked.

There are two good things I can say about this movie. First, it serves as a lesson about how not to adapt a book to the screen. Second, it shows how much of a great film The Howling is, simply by comparison. As it's another version of the same novel, you already pretty much know the plot ... a disturbed woman goes to a retreat of some kind in order to set her mind straight, and decides to investigate a mysterious howling in the woods. The only positive thing I'll say about the adaptation is that it retains the strong religious element from the book, which was neglected in the Joe Dante version. This movie is apparently a lot closer to Gary Brandner's novel, but it lacks any of the flavour, metaphor or subtext.

First off, you don't care about the characters. Secondly, it just isn't scary. Director John Hough may manage to stay faithful to the book like some kind of a literary parrot, but apparently he hasn't heard of those things we call mood or pace or style ... in no way does this feel like a horror movie (it features the most un-frightening ghosts I've ever seen in a film). It's not even a particularly well-made film, and I noticed several errors in continuity. The acting isn't great, as all of the cast seem to belong on a soap opera, but by no means is that the worst thing about the movie. Also, for some odd reason all the dialogue is dubbed. Badly. And there's no excuse for it ... it just distracts you from the rest of the scene (or perhaps that was the intention). The special effects are actually very good, but unfortunately you don't see any of them until the last ten minutes of the movie when they're all thrown together in a hectic mish-mash.

Why do we need this movie? It sure beats me. There's absolutely no reason to watch it, unless you're curious about the original novel but can't be bothered to read it. Joe Dante's The Howling is superior in every single way.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A nightmare certainly! wouldn't call it too original though!

Author: uds3 from Longmont, Colorado
25 September 2002

Gives new meaning to the term "low budget movie!" Obviously someone decided, "Hey lets re-make the original HOWLING and get the series back on track?" Yeah well, you need a Director, actors and a script for that. When your budget runs to barely a week's supply of Big Macs this might be aiming a tad high!

This is one god-awful cheap-looking crappily acted mess with the most unsustainably fake and illogical werewolf transformation in history. Having the victim regress to a pile of glutinous mush then (quick reversal of film) reconstitute himself as a lycanthropic tease with major orthodontic problems? Huh???? not to mention the hour or so everyone's been yawning, wondering where the film actually is!

They even had the temerity to rip off the original's finale...herding all the K-mart inspired werewolves into a belltower for a spot of the old mass-destruction! Not that you can actually SEE anything!

For reasons of international "co-operation" shall we say, this abysmal flick was shot in South Africa with the majority of the cast being locals, needing to be dubbed into Anericanese during post-production. It shows!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Of seven movies this is the one closest to any of the books.

Author: Eleanor (eeka-the-strangegirl) from Tucson, AZ
8 August 2002

Gary Brandner wrote The Howling trilogy. Seven The Howling

movies were made from these books. Even though this movie

may seem like a remake of the original, it is actually the one movie

closest to the first book. When seen from this perspective it's a

pretty good movie. Plus you get to see Michael T. Weiss (of TV's

Pretender fame) with a mullet! What more can you ask for from a horror movie with the number 4

after it?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not Good

Author: utgard14 from USA
27 December 2013

Writer Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is having strange visions. Marie's husband Richard (Michael T. Weiss) takes her to a cottage in the small town of Drago to relax and rest. The visions continue, however, and Marie eventually finds that the town of Drago is full of werewolves. The plot to this film is a reworking of the original Howling. Actually, it's a more faithful adaptation of the original novel in many respects. It also sucks big time. It's all very drab and tedious. Obviously the movie has fans. My sister is one of them. Growing up she actually preferred this film to the original Howling! Windsor and Weiss are fine, I guess, but it's all so dull. See the original or even the hilarious part 2 instead.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare

Author: Rautus from United Kingdom
4 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Joe Dante's The Howling is a classic Werewolf movie with some good effects and I loved it but it wasn't close to the novel and they even said so. It's still a good film. So when Clive Turner decided to do a third Howling sequel he decided to make it closer to the novel which was fine.

Howling IV is about a writer named Marie who after having a metal breakdown goes to a town called Drago with her husband Richard. Once there Marie begins to hear howling noises from outside, her husband think's she's making it all up due to her breakdown and the townsfolk are not too concerned about the noises. Soon an ex-nun arrives and tells Marie about a friend of her's that was attacked in Drago and Marie has seen her in her mind. The two soon go off searching for info about the town's history.

Her husband soon catches an eye on the art owner who resembles a similar look to Marsha from The Howling. After meeting her again in the woods she changes into a Werewolf and bites. After telling Marie it was a wolf that attacked him the next day he tells her he fell and scratched is shoulder.

Soon her nun friend discovers that the town people are Werewolves and hurries to warn Marie, meanwhile Marie's publisher Tom also tries to warn Marie but sees Richard in the road thriving in pain. He tries to help him only to get killed by a Werewolf in the bushes. It's not long before Marie and the ex-nun hide in the bell tower where Marie must wait outside while she summons the Werewolves with the bell.

Doing so Marie has no choice but to burn the tower with her friend, and after looking at the burnt body of her husband a Werewolf jumps out at her.

Although I haven't read the novels reading the reviews and seeing the film gives me a clue what the novel is like. Howling IV isn't a bad film, the transformation is kind of good and the Werewolf in the tower isn't that bad. The one thing is that the Werewolves don't show themselves until the final twenty minutes of the movie but I wasn't that bothered. I enjoyed the film.

I also love that theme song "Something evil, something dangerous"

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Ok effercts, terrible film.

Author: motown_23 ( from Norfolk, England
7 January 2004

Marie, a writer is seeing strange images and is sent to a small town to get away from things. But when there the delusions continue and she gets herself muddled up in a mystery to do with werewolves and a nun.

The story in this film drags on at a terribly slow pace. Just keeping the film on was difficult. It is suppose to be a werewolf film yet we don't even see one until after an hour of Marie just walking about the town and occasionally hearing howling noises coming from the woods. Some of the directing isn't too bad with a few stylish shots here and there and the acting is ok for a B movie but nothing to shout about. The film is more of a mystery than a horror but it doesn't work well as that either. The effects in the scene where Richard melts away are pretty cool and it's a very different transformation. It doesn't really make up for anything though. The doctor as a werewolf must be seen to be believed. The ending is terrible just don't even get me started on that. Terribly boring and just plain bad. The only good thing about the film is the ok effects but there are so few of them that it doesn't really help at all.


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1988 Golden Chainsaw Winner For Best Direct To Video Horror Film

Author: Nancy_Grease from Canada
20 September 2014

Fangoria Magazine kinda liked this one. They gave it an award nobody ever heard of the year it came out. I like it too. Not a lot but as Howling sequels go it's the best of a bad lot. A traumatized woman moves to the secluded town of Drago where she is tormented by visions of a nun and a howling in the woods. The plot has similarities to the Gary Brandner novel, if you're interested in knowing but director John (The Watcher In the Woods) Hough largely works from a screenplay which tells it's own story. Hough, who is best known for the minor horror classic; The Legend of Hell House does a pretty good job with Howling IV: The Original Nightmare. It's slickly produced, the cast is attractive, the low end special effect transformation from man to wolf is memorable and overall this is a mildly suspenseful entertainment.

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This is what the original Howling would have been like if made by humorless amateurs.

Author: capkronos ( from Ohio, USA
30 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Joe Dante's THE HOWLING (1981) was one of the great cult horror hits of the 80s and a lot of that had to do with the director's ability to infuse a good sense of humor into the proceedings without sacrificing the scares in the process. However, it also took major liberties with the source novel of the same name by Gary Brandner, which displeased some fans. This third sequel attempts to right that wrong by presenting a more faithful version of the first book in Brandner's series. The basic plots of the two films are nearly identical, but the approach to the material is not. Gone from this one are the production values, the sense of humor, the scares, the trend-setting special effects and the great cast. This lower-budgeted film simply comes off by-the-numbers, humorless, dull and actually surprisingly amateurish considering the fact the director is very experienced in the horror genre.

Bestselling author Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is haunted by visions of a nun and wolf faces and ends up spending time in an asylum as a result. After she's released, her husband Richard (Michael T. Weiss) takes her to a remote cabin located deep in the woods so she can have some quiet, peaceful time to recuperate. It isn't long before our troubled heroine begins doubting her sanity once again. Every night she hears wolves howling in the woods, despite the fact the sheriff (Norman Anstey) keeps insisting there are no large animals in the area. She's haunted by more visions of the nun as well as the home's former occupants, her poodle Pierre disappears and is later found with its head cut off and a pair of hikers vanish without a trace. To make matters even more stressful and sinister, all of the people living in the small neighboring town of Drago behave strangely and secretively.

Loose ends start to finally come together once Marie meets Janice Hatch (Susanne Severeid). A former nun herself, Janice is there looking for answers as to why another nun from her convent, Sister Ruth (Megan Kruskal), spent some time in the area and later went crazy and died. It's rather personal for Janice because Ruth was her lover and it also becomes personal for Marie seeing how her hubby has been spending a little too much time making special trips into town to visit an exotic, seductive shop owner named Eleanor (Lamya Derval). It should come as no surprise to anyone reading that the entire town is actually a haven for werewolves.

There are three major problems that completely sink this film early on. The first is atrocious monotone acting from nearly everyone in the cast. It seems like many have been dubbed over and the audio recording is terrible to start with, so that may play some part is the thoroughly inept performances seen from nearly everyone in this film. The second major issue is the location. This is supposed to be taking place in Northern California but it was filmed in dusty, dry South Africa, which looks absolutely nothing like Northern California. The final major problem with this one is the pacing. It plays out like a boring made-for-TV "thriller" with endlessly talky scenes that don't contribute a thing of interest to an already utterly predictable plot. Even worse, this film wastes so much time on nothing for the first hour that it must then quickly rush through a choppily-edited finale in just a few minutes.

The only positives in this one happen during the final few minutes and those are some Steve Johnson special effects, including a gory human meltdown and a guy ripping his face apart. Still, this is far from Johnson's best work. Aside from one brief flash of an actual werewolf (which seems to have been taken from another film altogether), the beasts are shown only as hairy-faced people and then as dogs in their full "transformation" stage later on. Very lame. The only other point of interest is that the opening 80s cheese-rock song ("Something Evil, Something Dangerous") was sung by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.

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A terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death...

Author: Amityville15 from England
12 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Haunted by a series of unnatural happenings, a young author, Marie Adams heads for the sanctuary of a rural hideout in a desperate bid to regain her sanity - but only to find a horror much more deadly than her own deranged imaginings. From the depths of the forest it's calling and waiting for the full moon, to hunt Marie down and to take her on a terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death. As night descends, the howling rises again to shatter the stillness of the night.

This film starred: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Weiss & Anthony Hamilton.

I have seen the first 4 howling films and this is my favourite one although I still don't like it. In my opinion best to worst is like this (so far as I have not seen some of the sequels)...

Howling 4 Howling Howling 3 Howling 2

This film is not really recommended.

**/***** Poor.

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A terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death...

Author: Dirty-English-99 from England
11 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Haunted by a series of unnatural happenings, a young writer, Marie Adams heads for the sanctuary of a rural hideout in a desperate bid to regain her sanity - only to find a horror far more deadly than her own deranged imaginings. From the depths of the forest he's calling, waiting for the full moon, to hunt Marie down... to take her on a terrifying journey into the gaping jaws of death. As night descends, the howling rises again to shatter the stillness of the night.

This film starred: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Woods & Anthony Hamilton.

Howling 4 is the best from the first 4 films but it is still crap, It's boring and dull. Again not recommended.

**/***** Poor.

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