Best to Worst Werewolf Movies That I've Seen (So Far)

by Barloq | created - 15 Oct 2010 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

A countdown of the best-to-worst werewolf movies that will leave you howling with glee (or frothing with rage as it may be). I'm working on seeing more so bear with me if you don't see one of your favourite classics (and leave a comment so I can see more werewolf films!). Note that for a movie to make it onto this list, werewolves have to be central to the plot (or enough-so for me to justify calling it a "werewolf movie"). Therefore stuff like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or Cirque du Freak: The Vampires Assistant didn't make the cut.

Also, to those to object to having any Twilight movies on here - while they are poor examples of the werewolf genre, they are nevertheless a (begrudging) part of it and its evolution.

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1. Dog Soldiers (2002)

R | 105 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.

Director: Neil Marshall | Stars: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham

Votes: 50,158

Simply the best all round - great action, characters and one of the best werewolf designs out there.

2. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 79,405 | Gross: $30.57M

A deserving classic with plenty of laughs and scares. Plus, it's highly regarded for its werewolf design and transformation scene, which are amongst the best in the genre.

3. Ginger Snaps (2000)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

70 Metascore

Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.

Director: John Fawcett | Stars: Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Kris Lemche, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 37,262 | Gross: $0.00M

I would argue that Ginger Snaps contains the best plot of all the werewolf films on this list. The werewolf design isn't that great, but considering that it's a really low budget film it's impressive what they achieved. The wolves look much better in the sequels though.

4. The Wolfman (2010)

R | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

43 Metascore

Upon his return to his ancestral homeland, an American man is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Simon Merrells

Votes: 96,386 | Gross: $61.98M

Yes, I enjoyed The Wolfman, and I realize that a lot of people didn't... oh well. It's very enjoyable, and the wolfman is a nigh-unstoppable force of nature - just what a werewolf aficionado wants to see!

5. The Wolf Man (1941)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror

72 Metascore

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy

Votes: 20,203

Yeah... I ranked this lower than the remake because it has some blatant flaws that people usually just ignore for nostalgia's sake. However, it is still a very enjoyable movie 60 years later, and well worth seeing.

6. Bad Moon (1996)

R | 80 min | Horror

One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Red | Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Michael Paré, Mason Gamble, Ken Pogue

Votes: 4,788 | Gross: $1.06M

This one got big points from me for its amazing werewolf design (probably my favourite werewolf design too), although the movie itself is rather mediocre. Enjoyable, but not amazing.

7. Underworld (2003)

R | 121 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller

42 Metascore

Selene, a vampire warrior, is entrenched in a conflict between vampires and werewolves, while falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen

Votes: 234,960 | Gross: $51.97M

A clear example of style over (and I mean WAAAAAAY over) substance, but it works. The action is great and the style is enjoyable. The werewolves... er, lycans I mean, look ok too.

8. Silver Bullet (1985)

R | 95 min | Horror

26 Metascore

A werewolf terrorizes a small city where lives the paralytic Marty Coslaw, his uncle, and his sister, the story's narrator.

Director: Daniel Attias | Stars: Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Megan Follows

Votes: 20,254 | Gross: $5.40M

I've heard a lot of people say this is one of the best werewolf movies out there, and I would have to say it's somewhat overrated. It's not bad, but it's not amazing either. Oh, and the werewolf looks like a Halloween costume. Worth seeing if you're a fan of Stephen King or werewolves though.

9. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

68 Metascore

After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 27,030 | Gross: $17.99M

Another highly regarded werewolf flick that I think is overrated... the story isn't bad and the direction is good. The wolves look... interesting. They have huge bat-ears which makes them look rather goofy, and the transformation scene honestly takes more than 2 minutes (all while the heroine stands and watches instead of running away).

10. Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed (2004)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

Ginger's sister Brigitte, now a werewolf herself, must try to find a cure for her blood lust before the next full moon while hiding out in a rehab clinic from a relentless werewolf.

Director: Brett Sullivan | Stars: Emily Perkins, Brendan Fletcher, Katharine Isabelle, Tatiana Maslany

Votes: 11,494

An interesting and very different follow-up to the original Ginger Snaps. The first half of the film is more of a psychological thriller before moving into more traditional horror towards the end. It doesn't always work, but it is definitely interesting and worth seeing if you enjoyed the first.

11. Wolf (1994)

R | 125 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

Publisher Will Randall becomes a werewolf and has to fight to keep his job.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Kate Nelligan

Votes: 48,175 | Gross: $65.01M

A decent horror-drama, although Rick Baker's talents were totally wasted on it. There's also WAAAAY too much time devoted to slow motion werewolf jumping scenes.

12. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

R | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

57 Metascore

In 18th century France, the Chevalier de Fronsac and his native American friend Mani are sent by the King to the Gevaudan province to investigate the killings of hundreds by a mysterious beast.

Director: Christophe Gans | Stars: Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Jérémie Renier, Vincent Cassel

Votes: 57,606 | Gross: $11.26M

Brotherhood of the Wolf is not a werewolf movie per se, but since it is based on the historical "werewolf", the Beast of Gevaudan, it has been included on this list. It is an interesting and stylish film, but some might be turned off by the slow pace, the lack of English (it's a French film) or the heavy-handed conspiracy theorizing.

13. Wolfen (1981)

R | 115 min | Horror, Thriller

64 Metascore

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

Director: Michael Wadleigh | Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines

Votes: 7,819 | Gross: $10.63M

This isn't *really* a werewolf movie (I didn't include it in my initial version of this list as a result), however I have added this to the list because it is often grouped with werewolf movies (likely due to it coming out the same year as An American Werewolf in London and The Howling). The movie is half decent, but it takes a fair amount of suspension of disbelief. However, the glowing eyes in the darkness will freak you out long after the movie is over.

14. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

R | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

44 Metascore

An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.

Director: Patrick Tatopoulos | Stars: Rhona Mitra, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Steven Mackintosh

Votes: 139,089 | Gross: $45.80M

Aaaaaaand now we reach the point in this list where the movies start getting bad. It's nice to see that they flesh out some of the minor characters from the other Underworld films (although it makes it hurt more that they all die like bitches), but it is a REALLY unnecessary prequel considering they already told us everything that happened here in the first movie.

15. Howling V: The Rebirth (1989)

R | 96 min | Horror

A group of strangers visit an ancient Hungarian castle and bring along a werewolf.

Director: Neal Sundstrom | Stars: Phil Davis, Victoria Catlin, Elizabeth Shé, Ben Cole

Votes: 2,041

A surprisingly decent film, especially if you've seen the other Howling sequels (not because it follows their storyline or anything, but because it is astronomically better in quality). It's competently done for the most part, sort of like a lesser version of The Thing and Jaws. The only major shortcomings are the poor acting, bad dialogue and the fact that it's really just a generic horror-mystery. That said, it's worth a look.

16. Underworld: Evolution (2006)

R | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

36 Metascore

Picking up directly from the previous film, vampire warrior Selene and the half werewolf Michael hunt for clues to reveal the history of their races and the war between them.

Director: Len Wiseman | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Tony Curran

Votes: 176,810 | Gross: $62.32M

I think I might have been a bit harsh on this back in the day. Yes, the action scenes are very hit-or-miss (largely due to the poor editing this time around), Scott Speedman is even more useless than ever and the plot borders on nonsense... however, it's still rather fun, the world-building is pretty interesting and Markus' vampire-hybrid form looks awesome (oh and SPOILER ALERT he gets chopped up in a helicopter blade which is pretty cool). It's far from amazing, but it's still better than most people might remember (myself included).

17. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

PG-13 | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

58 Metascore

As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob.

Director: David Slade | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Xavier Samuel

Votes: 206,228 | Gross: $300.53M

As much as I hate to admit it, this movie isn't that bad. Stuff FINALLY starts to happen, and there is actually some interesting character development (y'know, when Bella shuts the hell up). Of course, for every cool part there's something boring or stupid to balance it out, but I don't imagine Twilight going anywhere but (even more) downhill from here.

18. Werewolf: The Beast Among Us (2012 Video)

R | 93 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

Set in a 19th century village, a young man studying under a local doctor joins a team of hunters on the trail of a wolf-like creature.

Director: Louis Morneau | Stars: Ed Quinn, Guy Wilson, Stephen Rea, Rachel DiPillo

Votes: 5,473

Objectively, this movie was a shoddy piece of crap... but admittedly I was entertained throughout. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, but is hampered by bad CGI, bad acting, bad direction, shallow characters and pacing which is far too quick. Still, better than I expected it to be. *UPDATE* Okay so this film basically DEFINES forgettable for me now - I rewatched the whole thing for this list, and then only just now realized that I had already seen this 5 years ago. I did not remember a single thing and would have swore that I never watched it. That is the sort of impact this film leaves on you.

19. Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)

R | 94 min | Drama, Horror

Set in 19th Century Canada, Brigette and her sister Ginger take refuge in a Traders' Fort which later becomes under siege by some savage werewolves.

Director: Grant Harvey | Stars: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Nathaniel Arcand, JR Bourne

Votes: 9,165

We'll just ignore the continuity conundrum here...

20. Wild Country (2005)

R | 67 min | Horror

In Glasgow, the teenager single mother Kelly Ann is forced by Father Steven "Steve" Gillis to deliver her baby boy for adoption. Six weeks later, Father Steve organizes a hike in the ... See full summary »

Director: Craig Strachan | Stars: Samantha Shields, Martin Compston, Peter Capaldi, Alan McHugh

Votes: 544

Not very much of note. 5 kids go out in the woods, they get attacked by werewolves. The acting isn't too bad, but the only real eyebrow-raiser is the unorthodox werewolf design (a lot of people really hate the design though; I think it's refreshingly different but I don't prefer it).

21. The Howling: Reborn (2011 Video)

R | 88 min | Drama, Horror

A teenage outcast discovers he is a werewolf, and must battle a pack of the brutal creatures when they threaten him and his new girlfriend.

Director: Joe Nimziki | Stars: Landon Liboiron, Lindsey Shaw, Ivana Milicevic, Jesse Rath

Votes: 3,133

By the standards of the Howling series, this movie is relatively good. However, on its own Howling: Reborn is sub-par. It's a mediocre high-school horror flick, with too much of an emphasis on teen angst and cringe-worthy philosophizing (not to mention the usual issues with the Howling series - namely bad acting, directing, script, etc). Some will say it's just a rip-off of Twilight, but in all honesty it's far better than those movies (barring Eclipse I'll begrudgingly admit). All-in-all, they certainly could have done much worse... but that just doesn't cut it for me.

22. Howling VI: The Freaks (1991 Video)

R | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

A villainous carnival owner traps a young werewolf to include in his growing menagerie of inhuman exhibits.

Director: Hope Perello | Stars: Brendan Hughes, Michele Matheson, Sean Sullivan, Antonio Fargas

Votes: 1,695

Not as awful as the other Howling sequels (although it suffers much of the same problems), but it is rather boring and stupid overall. On the plus side though, there is some low budget ambition and the acting from some of the leads is surprisingly good.

23. Night Wolf (2010)

R | 81 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

Sarah Tyler returns to her troubled family home in the isolated countryside, for a much put-off visit. As a storm rages outside, Sarah, her family and friends shore up for the night, cut ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Glendening | Stars: Isabella Calthorpe, Tom Felton, Gemma Atkinson, Josh Bowman

Votes: 2,614

An extremely generic teen monster horror movie. It's not even all that violent, so you can't even get your jollies from cheap exploitation. Utterly passable, which is a shame for a werewolf moving brandying about the "Dog Soldiers" name. Even worse, the werewolf looks *beep* horrible.

24. Underworld Awakening (2012)

R | 88 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

39 Metascore

When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.

Directors: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein | Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley, Stephen Rea

Votes: 135,643 | Gross: $62.32M

To its credit, Underworld: Awakening tries to shake up the series' formula by having the secret war between Vampires and Lycans interrupted by their discovery by humans. However, this is a double-edged sword, because immortals vs humans is just boring, and the film is at its very best when Selene is actually kicking Lycan ass again. The plot is pretty terrible as well, easily the worst in the series. Director Måns Mårlind also makes the crucial mistake of ditching the series' gothic tone. Seriously, what the hell? The gothic tone at least made previous installments feel somewhat classy and distinct - the new tone makes this just feel like a particularly uninspired Resident Evil movie.

25. Skinwalkers (2006)

R | 110 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

33 Metascore

A 12 year old boy and his mother become the targets of two warring werewolf packs, each with different intentions and motives.

Director: James Isaac | Stars: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Natassia Malthe

Votes: 12,394 | Gross: $1.02M

A half-baked, unremarkable action flick. I can't even recommend it on its werewolf design. While they look cool for the most part, their eyes are freaking massive and make them look very ugly and cartoonish.

26. An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

31 Metascore

An American man unwittingly gets involved with French werewolves who have developed a serum allowing them to transform at will.

Director: Anthony Waller | Stars: Tom Everett Scott, Julie Delpy, Vince Vieluf, Phil Buckman

Votes: 21,257 | Gross: $26.57M

Yeah... from the moment you see bungee jumping off the Eiffel Tower you know this is going to be bad. The CGI is really bad too, although the fact that it made future werewolf films more hesitant to use CGI is nice.

27. Battledogs (2013 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

A werewolf virus is unleashed upon New York, and Major Hoffman looks for a cure while Lt. General Monning wants to establish a new canine army.

Director: Alexander Yellen | Stars: Craig Sheffer, Dennis Haysbert, Kate Vernon, Ariana Richards

Votes: 1,311

It's pretty bad when your movie is ruined 5 seconds in. "How", you may ask? Well simply because the words "Asylum pictures" showed up on screen. That said, werewolf effects are okay considering that they're CGI and very low budget. Battledogs is a very lazy film (super generic storyline and characters) and unbelievably stupid as well (the US army CHARGES a pack of werewolves... CHARGES THEM. WTF!?!). However, the movie has enough over the top and unintentionally funny moments that you might enjoy the movie on some level at least.

28. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

PG-13 | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

44 Metascore

Edward leaves Bella after an attack that nearly claimed her life, and in her depression she falls into yet another paranormal relationship - this time with werewolf Jacob Black.

Director: Chris Weitz | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Christina Jastrzembska

Votes: 243,161 | Gross: $296.62M

Yeah that's right, I'm counting it as a werewolf flick. Criminally boring, basically 2 hours of set-up for something that never happens.

29. Big Bad Wolf (2006)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Horror

After being attacked by a werewolf, a teenager believing it may have been his stepfather attempts to expose him.

Director: Lance W. Dreesen | Stars: Trevor Duke-Moretz, Kimberly J. Brown, Richard Tyson, Sarah Aldrich

Votes: 2,268

The decent middle section of movie is book-ended by an awful beginning and crappy ending. Performances are bad all-round, the werewolf is ridiculous and it's not funny (it's supposed to be a black comedy). Also, the werewolf rape scenes are disturbingly scarring, so there's extra incentive to stay away.

30. Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 88 min | Fantasy, Horror

The modern-day descendant of Little Red Riding Hood brings her fiancé home to meet her family and reveal their occupation as werewolf hunters, but after he is bitten by a werewolf, she must protect him from her own family.

Director: Sheldon Wilson | Stars: Felicia Day, Kavan Smith, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk

Votes: 1,826

Considering that this is a SyFy TV movie, you can probably make a pretty safe guess as to its quality. Worst of all for a werewolf connoisseur, the 100% CGI werewolves look AWFUL - like, I'm talking An American Werewolf in Paris levels of suck.

31. Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988 Video)

R | 94 min | Horror

A successful author moves to a new town after suffering a mental breakdown and is tormented by demons and werewolves.

Directors: John Hough, Clive Turner | Stars: Romy Windsor, Michael T. Weiss, Antony Hamilton, Susanne Severeid

Votes: 2,215

This movie is basically a ripoff of the original Howling - it uses much of the same plot points, but to much weaker effect. Unlike most Howling sequels, this one had a chance to be good and is actually pretty competent most of the time. I like the slow pace. It's obvious the director was influenced by proper horror films like Evil Dead and Jaws and wanted to live up to them... unfortunately they do a pretty *beep* job at that. The movie's brought down by terrible acting, poor effects and an abysmal 3rd act, which is too bad because this could have been at least average.

32. Howling II: ... Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

A young man whose sister was murdered by werewolves helps an investigator track down a gang of the monsters through the United States and Europe.

Director: Philippe Mora | Stars: Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown, Marsha A. Hunt

Votes: 5,527

Without a doubt, this ranks up there as one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The film is an absolute mess in every single department. The only bright spots are Christopher Lee (who does his usual thing), the theme song (which must have been played almost 10 times over the course of the movie) and... uh... Sybil Danning repeatedly taking off her top on a loop (although that's counter-balanced by an extremely awkward furry sex scene). Anyway, bottom line - this movie is abysmal. Worth seeing if you love bad movies, but otherwise stay away.

33. Howling III (1987)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Horror

A strange race of human-like marsupials appear suddenly in Australia, and a sociologist who studies these creatures falls in love with a female one. Is this a dangerous combination?

Director: Philippe Mora | Stars: Barry Otto, William Yang, Imogen Annesley, Deby Wightman

Votes: 3,907

Wow... the Howling sequels truly are cinematic *beep* stains. This one's just plain boring. Even the kill scenes, usually the only redeeming factor in a movie like this, are boring because the director refuses to give us any sort of gore as payoff. On top of that, the plot is ridiculously convoluted and the effects are abysmal and unsettling (in a bad way)... there's not much more awkward to watch than watching a woman covered in fake fur giving birth to an ugly, plastic kangaroo baby. And wait til you see it when it's older... bleh. The acting's a bit better than Howling II, but at the same time there are some absolute legendary moments of bad acting in this - seriously, Youtube "worst acting ever" and clips from this movie will be up there.

34. Dogman (2012)

Not Rated | 91 min | Thriller

Hanklin Purvis enjoys the outdoors, and he loves to hunt. He and his wife, Dorothy, live on a farm in the rural mid-west. For some reason, during the season before autumn, things start ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Brauer | Stars: Larry Joe Campbell, Mariann Mayberry, Kimberly Guerrero, Stacie Mitchell

Votes: 219

Not strictly a werewolf movie, but since it's based on the "Wisconsin Werewolf" I thought it was appropriate to include it here. This movie could have been strictly average, but everything it attempts is nullified by either amateur production or a shoestring budget (no suspense, bad acting, bad editing, etc). The non-ending is just par for the course.

35. Howling: New Moon Rising (1995 Video)

R | 90 min | Horror

A number of brutal, werewolf-like slayings begin occurring in a small California town after the arrival of an unfamiliar motorcyclist.

Directors: Clive Turner, Roger Nall | Stars: John Ramsden, Ernest Kester, Clive Turner, John Huff

Votes: 1,627

This did it... they FINALLY, REALLY DID IT! After a decade and a half of (almost exclusively) terrible sequels, The Howling franchise has finally mastered the art of "suck". This movie has absolutely no redeeming features - the acting, the script, the dialogue, the film stock, the editing, the direction, the violence, the pacing... EVERYTHING is engineered precisely to produce maximum suckiness. Plus, I hope you love old-school country music, because this movie features so much of it that it's basically a country music video half the time. Even for the love of the werewolf genre, don't waste your time on this piece of *beep*



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