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On the eve of his high school graduation, unremarkable Will Kidman finally bonds with the girl he has long yearned for, reclusive Eliana Wynter. But he also discovers a dark secret from his past... that he is about to become a werewolf. Now, in an effort to fight destiny and save their love as well as their lives, they must battle not only Will's growing blood lust but an army of fearsome beasts bent on killing them... and then, us all. Written by
Not For Fans of the Original - More like Teen Wolf Reborn
There is a theory of film study which asserts that an important factor in how a film is experienced is the time and setting in which one sees it. It's especially true for horror films. Teens who see films like the original Texas Chainsaw and The Howling for the first time decades after they were made will compare them to films like Saw and other films they've seen earlier. People who saw them when they first came out got the full impact of the new ground they were breaking at the time.
The Howling: Reborn breaks no new ground. It does however break one of the cardinal rules of screen writing: avoid voice-over as much as possible. This film is plastered wall-to-wall with the pretentious observations of a "teenaged mind." The main characters are like rejects from an MTV dramedy, slinging pseudo-pithy ruminations of teen angst that only a pre-adolescent could find intriguing.
It's not all bad though. There is Lindsey Shaw to look at. And the lighting is top notch. Unfortunately the cinematography is lost in a flashy mess of music video after effects and choppy editing, apparently used to cover up the less-than-state-of-the-art CG work.
The original Howling was a notable entry in the horror genre. Aside from the fact that it was genuinely scary and atmospheric, it featured the first truly impressive "real time" full body on screen transformation of a man into a werewolf. (Yes American Werewolf had good efx too, if you found it impressive to see one hand transform at a time.) And this was before CG, when make-up artists had to figure out complex robotics combined with masterful sculpted skins.
And while the original Howling drew you in with realistic situations and characters, Reborn starts off with a few unreal clunkers. One is a security guard in charge of a school lockdown system that would be the envy of any maximum security prison. The second is when a high school student is pushed against a locker and has a three inch blood-gushing gash sliced across his jugular, and shrugs it off as if the school bully just rubbed a booger in his hair.
Not long after that we find ourselves immersed in a wannabe feature length MTV video with standard rock video efx like color desaturation, flash cuts, and worst of all, a string of songs with sappy vocals that make the mickey mouse orchestral score even more mickey mouse.
In the end, the bombastic direction and flashy editing fail to make up for what this film lacks: substance.
Kids will probably like it though. Fans of the original hoping for a state-of-the-art update will be sorely disappointed.
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