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7/10
For fans of the weird and lovers of the pre-CGI era, this is a rare treat
gogoschka-111 January 2014
What a weird fairy tale: director Neil Jordan (Interview with the Vampire) seems to have had the intention of taking a Freudian approach to the story of 'Little Red Riding Hood'. The result is an almost surreal collection of stories about rather testosterone driven werewolves, who all have a little more on their minds than 'just' to kill. If you like old school practical effects and transformations, this film has 'em by the truck load (although they do seem a little dated by now). Not everything works in this strange tale; the mix of sexual symbolism, poetic beauty and gory horror moments seems a bit forced at times - but when it does work it's utterly fascinating. For fans of the weird and lovers of the pre-CGI era, this is a rare treat. 7 out of 10.

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
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9/10
An Adult Stylized Version of Little Red Riding Hood
claudio_carvalho21 July 2018
Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) is a teenager, living in a country house in England with her family in the present days, and having a nightmare with wolves and werewolves in the Middle Ages. In her dream, her boring sister is dead, she lives with her father (David Warner) and her mother (Tusse Silberg), but she spends lots of time with her lovely grandmother (Angela Lansbury). Granny tells her many stories of werewolf and gives her the following advice: "- Never stray from the path in the woods, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet." One day, Rosaleen, while going to visit her grandmother, meets a handsome man and bets who would arrive first at her granny's house. Soon she finds who he is.

"In the Company of Wolves" is the second and one of the most fascinating films by Neil Jordan. Based on the fairy tale of the Little Red Riding Hood, it is indeed an adult stylized version of the tale in a dreamlike atmosphere with open end. But further than that, it is also a spectacular approach of the beginning of the puberty, losing of the innocence through wild and erotic dreams, when the character of Sarah Patterson is becoming a young woman. Neil Jordan makes an excellent horror movie, which can have the most different interpretations, depending on the experience of the viewer. He uses many symbols, such as the lipstick, or the first date of Rosaleen. The gorgeous and promising actress Sarah Patterson has never become a star. With her interpretation in this cult-movie, any fan would believe she would have a great career ahead, what has never come true. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "A Companhia dos Lobos" ("The Company of the Wolves")
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9/10
Excellent take on werewolf folklore
Teknofobe701 May 2005
Let's all thank god for Neil Jordan. Not only did he bring Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire to the screen in an uncompromising, superb adaptation, but way back at the start of his career he also brought us this mini-masterpiece about werewolves.

The setup is simple. A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine (with a cover story entitled "the shattered dream" -- a subtle hint to some of the themes of this movie), and she has a disturbing dream involving wolves which appears to take place in the woods visible from her bedroom window. It begins with a girl being chased down by a pack of wolves and killed, then we move to her funeral and discover she had a sister. The sister is your typical inquisitive girl just blossoming into womanhood, and her wise old grandmother tells her stories about men changing into wolves, with the message that all men are beasts. These stories make the girl uncomfortable about the advances of a local boy, and later a charming nobleman, and her perceptions of her parent's love life don't help. As the town becomes more and more terrified by the danger of wolf attacks, they begin to unearth evidence that there are in fact werewolves out in the woods. These findings and her own active imagination lead the girl to come up with her own werewolf stories. And when she is sent out through the woods with a red cloak and basket to visit her grandmother, you just know that there's going to be trouble ...

The Company of Wolves is a well-made, smart and highly original piece of work, and it is this movie that got Irish director Neil Jordan noticed internationally. The surreal, dream-like atmosphere of the movie is both superb and engaging, and the metaphorical nature of the movie is reasonably subtle. It is about a young girl's coming-of-age, trying to decide whether or not all men are in fact beasts when she still isn't quite sure exactly what they want from her.

Generally, werewolf movies made by European film-makers tend to have more substance and more familiarity with actual werewolf folklore -- it is part of our history after all, while Hollywood has had to create it's own werewolf myth over the years. This is probably the best British werewolf movie, followed by Dog Soldiers and Curse of the Werewolf, but even American classics like The Wolf Man and of course An American Werewolf in London, had to be set in Britain.

The lead role is played by Sarah Patterson, a young girl in her debut role at just 12 years old. After this she only appeared in one more movie (Snow White, also in the Canon Movie Tales series) then for some reason gave up on movie acting. She would certainly have had a successful career after this, you would think. The supporting actors also do good jobs, particularly Micha Bergese as the huntsman and Angela Lansbury as the creative grandmother. Other well-known names appear here in smaller roles, including Brian Glover (the yorkshireman from American Werewolf), David Warner, Stephen Rea and Terence Stamp.

It currently ranks as one of my all-time favourite werewolf movies, and I expect it to grow on me even more over time. I can recommend this without any reservation.
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10/10
The most original werewolf movie you'll ever see
CountVladDracula4 January 2005
The Company of wolves is a very unique film that has to be watched with an open mind. It's a very surreal fantasy-horror story all of which takes place within the mind of a sleeping adolescent girl. Each story is filled with beautifully done metaphors and similes in which the werewolves represent puberty, sexuality, masculinity, and sexual awakening though there is no actual sex in the entire movie. It's very beautifully done. And even if you don't like symbolism and faery-tale style movies the werewolf transformations are quite unnerving and the stories the grandmother tells rosaleen (which are acted out as short stories in the movie) are rather chilling. This is the most original werewolf movie you will ever come across. There has never been or will there ever be again anything quite like it.
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10/10
A movie that is far more than meets the eye.
zzoaozz7 August 1999
This movie is a commentary on the passage from innocence to adulthood and the life we throw away as we make that transition. It is series of dream sequences that cover the many ways a man becomes a werewolf while the primary story line is moody reworking of the Little Red Riding Hood tale. The movie itself is very complex and not for those looking for a straight horror movie or a fantasy love story. It puts forth the premise that childhood must end, and we must all in time give in to the animal within. The ending is one that comes as a surprise and a shock to most viewers. The transformation scenes are some of the most incredible in the history of werewolf movies. Those who view this movie will either walk away confused or find themselves changed in some subtle way. It tends to be a bit hard to find in the video stores, but it is more than worth the trouble of searching.
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8/10
Dreaming of wolves
Leonard Shelby22 February 2001
The company of wolves is very far from being the typical movie about werewolves, it's very different from films such as An American Werewolf in London or The Howling. This film is full of symbolism, it's a kind of rewriting of Perrault's Little Red Ridding Hood with Freudian elements. The film was directed by Neil Jordan, but in it we can notice the writing of Angela Carter, an author who is mainly interested in rewriting folklore myths from a feminist point of view. If you see this film you will enter a world of magic, of dreams, not only by means of the script, but also by the settings, which are really wonderful. The film itself deals with the end of childhood and the beginning of adolescence, with all its sexual connotations, and the loss of innocence. When we become adults we realize life is not a magic tale. All this is treated from a feminist point of view, the main character is a girl who dreams about several stories with werewolves. Visually the movie is incredible, and it manages to reflect the symbolism of woods, the mixture of light and darkness, the magic creatures which live there during the night and the dangerous inside them especially for the girls who don't follow the path. From my point of view the film is one of the best dealing with the myth of werewolves, mainly because the film is a metaphor of life, of the human specie, all of us have an animal inside.
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8/10
Visually compelling fantasy - with werewolves!
ThrownMuse26 April 2005
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.
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9/10
"Never Stray From the Path, Never Eat a Windfall Apple, and Never Trust a Man Whose Eyebrows Meet." – An Adult and Stylized Version of Little Red Riding Hood
claudio_carvalho4 March 2004
Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) is a teenager, living in a country house in England with her family in the present days, and having a nightmare with wolves and werewolves in the Middle Ages. In her dream, her boring sister is dead, she lives with her father (David Warner) and her mother (Tusse Silberg), but she spends lots of time with her lovely grandmother (Angela Lansbury). Granny tells her many stories of werewolf and gives her the following advice: "- Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple, and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet." One day, Rosaleen, while going to visit her grandmother, meets a handsome man and bet with him who would arrive first at her granny's house. The story has an open end. The first time I watched this movie was in 1984 or 1985 in a imported VHS of a Brazilian video-club, and I liked it a lot. This video-club closed and unfortunately, this film has not been available in Brazil since then. Yesterday it was released on DVD and I immediately bought it. I have just saw it and I really can say that it is an excellent movie. The story is based on the fairy tale of the Little Red Riding Hood. Indeed it is an adult and stylized version of the tale. But further than that, it is also a spectacular approach of the beginning of the puberty, losing of the innocence through wild and erotic dreams, when the character of Sarah Patterson is becoming an young woman. Neil Jordan made an excellent work, with a wonderful horror movie, which can have the most different interpretations, depending on the eye and experience of the viewer. He used many symbols, such as the use of lipstick, or the first date of Rosaleen. I do not understand what happened to the gorgeous and very promising actress Sarah Patterson. With her interpretation in this film, I would bet she would have a great career ahead, what has never come true. This film is really a cult-movie, and I am one of its greatest fan. I would like to thank the Brazilian distributor Flashstar, for giving me the chance of see this wonderful movie again. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `A Companhia dos Lobos' (`The Company of the Wolves')
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8/10
Beautiful.
HumanoidOfFlesh5 September 2001
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.
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8/10
One of the most strange werewolf-movies I've seen - but good!
Atricea6 April 2005
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! :)
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10/10
Haunting, very unique fantasy horror
Neil Jordan's The Company Of Wolves is a long lost horror fantasy classic, a eerie, dreamy take on little red riding hood with a cautionary message about the dangers that blossoming young girls are at risk from at the hands of men. In a dark, drafty mansion, a 14 year old girl (Sarah Patterson) tosses and turns amidst a nightmare. In her nocturnal wanderings we see her as a forest dwelling girl who lives deep in the heart of the woods with her family. Surrounding them is shadowy magic, strange creatures, and an ever present pack of pursuing wolves. As you might expect, she is tasked to journey out into the forest to her grandmother's house. There she is beset with the dangers of a wolf who hides in the skin of a man, a metaphor for the way older men pretend to be something they are not to prey on younger girls. Despite its fantasy setting, the film retains a very mature, grounded look at the risks of trusting someone you've just met, and wrestles with the ideas of how to handle educating our daughters on the dangers that young girls have to be aware of, especially in our modern world as well. It's also a gorgeously produced film. Jordan and team lovingly create a realistic yet dreamy, haunted forest atmosphere, with some truly outstanding practical effects that have to be seen to be believed. The gooey, glistening skinless wolf emerging from a man's naked body is definitely hard to forget, and the little birds eggs that produce tiny humanoid babies are phenomenally well done. Jordan, always a genius with merging together his themes with the atmosphere of the film, uses the primal fears and nightmarish ghouls on the fringes of our awareness to evoke a very real existential dread, spurred by both his visual and intellectual aspects of the film. He is a genius in my mind, one of the last of the finest. Sarah Patterson is a graceful wonder in her breakout role, and Angela Lansbury is great as her old granny. Look out for an awesome cameo from Terence Stamp as the man himself, Lucifer. This is my favourite rendition of little red riding hood because it doesn't fit into any conventional zone and strives to bring us something beautiful and different.
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10/10
Magical, captivating.
snowgrouse16 March 2002
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.
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10/10
The lost of innocence
amoreno-422 December 2000
A little jewel. A film absolutely underrated. Mixing werewolves and Charles Perrault´s "Little Red Riding Hood", Neil Jordan narrates us a beautiful story, full of symbols, about the lost of innocence. The play of Sarah Patterson in Rosaleen´s role is superb.
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10/10
A beautifully crafted fairy tale
ray-14130 September 1999
A wonderful fantasy tale that I only saw many years after its release due to reading unfavourable reviews - there is a moral there: take no notice of film critics!

The dream-like sets create a claustrophobic fairy tale ambiance. Angela Lansbury is excellent as the wise old grandmother telling creepy tales of wolves to the impressionable Rosaleen, played by the delightful Sarah Patterson who I have never seen in anything else since unfortunately.

Special effects date very quickly and the effects used in this film are no exception, but this does not detract from the film.

The screenplay has been beautifully adapted from a short story by Angela Carter from her excellent collection 'The Bloody Chamber'. The complex and highly descriptive prose of the original story - itself a re-interpretation of 'Little Red Riding Hood'- makes it difficult to transfer to the screen but this succeeds superbly well and is a deeply satisfying film to watch and is worth repeated viewings to take it all in.
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10/10
One of my favourite films of all time.
streetsofla29 January 2001
"Little Red Riding Hood" is a story loved and appreciated by most children all around the country. But never before has it been presented in this manner. Neil Jordan's "In the Company of Wolves" is a splendid film that blends symbolism, excellent performances, and fine art direction to create an extremely entertaining and intellectual piece of work. ~P~ One of the most fascinating aspects of "The Company of Wolves" is it's symbolism. The film's tie with Little Red Riding Hood-- especially the wolves--combine too create an allegory for adolescent sexual awakening and mature, beastlike sexual nature. The film is sprinkled with references, outright and hidden, to support this theme. Other scattered images prove to promote reflection on their meanings, something many films today do not even attempt. Performances in the film are also a treat. Angela Lansbury especially stands out as Granny, a world-wise woman with a tongue spilling wisdom, drivel, and humor. The other knock-out performance is that of Sarah Patterson as Rosaleen (Little Red Riding Hood). She emits a cool knowing of her budding sexuality and slowly grows until she is ready to embrace the forbidden territory of passion. The art direction of the film--costumes, sets, images--all contribute to its excellence. The costumes are all very period, and Rosaleen red cape seems to have even more special significance here (do we detect more symbolism?!?).The setting is very unique, a combination of surrealism, Disney, and the medieval period. The scattered images in the film--especially the ending--raise it high above many films available today. "The Company of Wolves" is a fascinating film chock full of Freudian symbolism, dazzling art, and winnign performances. If you aren't afraid to think a little bit about the pictures flashing before your eyes, you owe to yourself to hop to the local video store and rent this film...you wil NOT be disappointed!
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10/10
Underrated Masterpiece Deserving Cult Stature
toshiro-521 March 2000
Underrated. Just that one word is a perfect description for this movie. I can be silent no longer. This movie deserves a wider audience, a cult audience definitely. The Company of Wolves was let down by a marketing strategy when it opened in America a year after a successful Brit premiere, labelled as a sub-par blood 'n' guts horror film. Even today, you can still find it in the horror section at the local video store. The videotape box packaging, while cool-looking, does little to dispel the notion. What a tragedy.

I have heard TCOW described as a thinking-person's horror film, and I would say that this is about right. There is a lot of psychological drama, some Freudian ideas, Jungian imagery, and a clever Little Red Riding Hood re-working. Much of the film takes place on sound stages, and the film stock is grainy, giving the movie a strange, other-worldly quality to it. Anton Furst, later of Batman fame, did the production design. Plus, you've got some great character actors here: we're talking Angela Landsberry, David Warner, even Terrence Stamp. And what Neil Jordan-helmed film would be complete without Steven Rea? The brightest star of the film, though, is undoubtedly Sarah Patterson, portraying the main character of the teenage girl. Why she never became a superstar is beyond me. She gives an awe-inspiring and truly believable performance as the teenage female protagonist.

Sure, the film has its flaws. The special effects ARE cheesy by today's standards. The wolf-transformation sequences are unnecessarily long, bloody, and LOUD. And if you do not go into the film with an open mind, or a brain period, you will not understand what is going on, and you will be bored. The movie is not for everyone.

Please, though, give the movie a chance.
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10/10
Brilliant grim fairy tale
Vomitron_G3 February 2006
Neil Jordan's THE COMPANY OF WOLVES simply is an amazing, beautiful and terrifying film. It's based on a story written by Angela Carter who herself used a lot of references to "Little Red Riding Hood". As much as the movie is a fairy tale it also is a tale of horror. The film mostly takes place in a dream-world and the plot cleverly mixes stories within stories to a point were there isn't actually an over-all story-line nor does there seem to be a clearly defined point to it all. There is one, but you'll have to figure it out by yourself, 'cause there are several clues to be found throughout the movie. And the title also makes sense near the end of the dream-story.

But how can a movie without a coherent story-line keep your attention from the first frame to the last? I'll tell you: with it's most enchanting visuals. Some shots and effects are just pure poetry. And some of the make-up effects are not for the squeamish either. The transformations from man to wolf are original and effective. The sets are fantastic and the use of lighting and shadow is perfect. The camera-moves (and every shot for that matter) are well thought-out. The atmosphere of the movie is brilliant: from dream-like fantasy to scary horror. The first dream-sequence, for example, is much scarier than your average Freddy Krueger-nightmare.

The performances are all very good and it's nice to see familiar faces like Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Stephen Rea and even Terence Stamp. But it really is Sarah Patterson who steals the show as Rosaleen. She has this sexual intensity shining through. Slightly innocent, yet strong and feminine.

But what really makes this film tick, are the use of symbolism and metaphors. You might see a film about werewolves, but it's really a story about a girl coming of age and the dawning of her own sexuality. Did you noticed that one shot of a white rose turning all red with blood stains? I think you get the idea behind that one, right? It's probably the most mature film handling the werewolf-theme ever made. And it's even disguised as a (horrific) fairy tale.

This film is a little masterpiece because it's so unique and quite possibly the most original werewolf-movie you'll ever see. And if you'd like to see a more light-hearted approach to horror-versions of fairy tales you might consider checking out the B-gem DEADTIME STORIES. Just don't expect brilliant class-A stuff like THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. And remember, boys & girls: "Never trust a man whose eyebrows meet".
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I love this little film
claireryan_200314 November 2004
The company of Wolves. why is it so underrated? A simple low budget sweet tale that everybody knows cleverly put together into this horror masterpiece with a few more short stories added. Special Effects are great. I love the first story the most where they cut the Werewolves head off and it turns back human. I'm probably going to upset a few people now when I rate the special effects more than In An American Werewolf In London. But the best bit if all is all the god damn German Shepherds jumping through the window at the end. Believable as Wolves Not - but still such a delicious, entertaining, humorous and gory. The Company Of Wolves is OK in my book.
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7/10
The Company She Keeps
sol12181 January 2005
**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.
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10/10
More magical than Merlin, Grimmer than the Grimmest Grimm fairy-tale
Coventry3 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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10/10
Never before have I seen such deep a horror film!
alexis_24013 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
What am I doing giving a horror film 10/10. I must be out of my mind. Well if you thought that, you couldn't be more wrong. Just watch the film if you haven't already done so. This is no ordinary horror film. In fact it's not a horror film, it's an allegory, it's the British "Seventh seal". The seventh seal is an allegory about man's search for the meaning of life and his continuous preoccupation with questions there is no way (at least from my angle) he can answer, the company of wolves is about realizing who you are, your sexuality, your desires and most importantly the transition from adolescence to adulthood or the "end of innocence".

Every bit of the movie is a symbol and to be precise, a Freudian symbol. The Freudian concept of unconscious motives is evident throughout the film. Rosaleen's large toys in the forest represent her innocence and a desire to remain that way, in other words the desire to regress back to the safe period of childhood, and not be an adult with urges.

Rosaleen's red cloak might seem like little red riding hood, and it is true it's taken from there but in this case it represents menstruation and not being a girl anymore but a woman. When the eggs hatch up on the birds nest, Rosalyn becomes acquainted for the first time with birth and the creation of life. The replacement of bird babies with human figurines is ingenious.

Finally the menacing wolves represent men and their domineering nature and predatory desire which Rosaleen will have to deal with now that she is a woman and a powerful creature herself. Therefore by fully developing into a sexual being she becomes a beast herself and that's what we are shown by her turning into a wolf.

All this is integrated brilliantly into the film ending with the wolves knocking down her toys thus ruining childhood. That's a thing of the past. Time passes inevitably as the clock shows us and it is time to change.

God bless Neil Jordan and Angela Carter for bringing this masterpiece to the big screen. If you haven't seen it I suggest you do so and even if you have watch it again! Just to remind yourselves what it was like making good movies. Remember "Never stray from the path!".
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Oh, please
Ripshin7 August 2004
Whatever. I saw this film in 1984, 1994 and 2004, and I dislike it even more each time I see it. Yeah, I get the "symbolism," and I can appreciate the set design, but it is disjointed. The plot and concept are all over the map, and the ending defies explanation. I've read the posts of other viewers, and their responses/reactions to the film are rather vague. The special effects are weak, regardless of the time period. People actually find this film "frightening"????? Of course, considering this is a Neil Jordan flick, I shouldn't be surprised.

Back in 1984, I remember 90% of the audience walking out within thirty minutes, and NOT because they were scared. Perhaps this film appeals only to a select "art house" crowd. Or, maybe one needs to be "enhanced" in order to appreciate the nuances.
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8/10
Freudian Fairy Tale
Hammerfanatic4616 February 2015
I watched "The Company of Wolves" yesterday, only my second viewing in thirty years, and was delighted at how absorbing it remains. Passing the test of time, it is as fresh as ever .

The Movie is not quite a Horror film, but inhabits the realm of Fantasy Cinema, a genre which has always shared a porous border with horror.

"Wolves" weaves an intriguing tapestry of folklore and Freudian psychology as it links the dark, but sensual ,Grimm's fairy tales to adolescent fantasies and sexual anxieties, framed in a narrative which is a story, within a story, within a story, wrapped in a dream. In doing so, it takes us deeper into Hammer's dark woods and bucolic Gothic imagery.

Thematically, it strays far from Hammer, but aesthetically, it is firmly rooted in the British Gothic tradition. Not only does it's pastoral setting , secluded village and menacing atmosphere recall the mood of Hammer's best productions, but the cinematography and even the opening titles, are suggestive of Hammer influences.

Admittedly, some of the visual effects leave much to be desired to the modern viewer. I am no great fan of CGI, but perhaps the film would have been enhanced ,under Neil Jordan's restrained eye, by SFX that belonged to the 21st Century rather than the era of "An American Werewolf in London" .

Having said that, "The Company of Wolves" is an intellectual and visual treat, which will reward repeat viewing . It certainly won't be three decades before I venture into it's enchanted forest once again.
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1/10
An Honest Review
generationofswine25 February 2019
Pretentious.

This film is pretentious.

Wizard of Oz meets a horror movie to discuss the sexuality of a teenage girl. This is a pretentious art house movie and one that thinks that it is vastly more intelligent than it really is.

It wants to retell the Little Red Riding hood story in a semi-erotic way, but never actually achieves it.

But, at least it's pretty.
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8/10
definitely more than meets the eye, yes.
izzydigzmuzik1715 September 2005
Well, i stumbled upon this film one sleepless night. I had never heard of it before and decided to give it a chance. I am very glad that i did, for it is one of the darkest films i have seen. The cinematography and the acting are top notch. I can honestly say that it took me by surprise. I agree with the other gentlemen when referring to the transformation sequences. Definitely some of the best work i have ever seen. It seems as though this movie was casted perfectly. I must admit that i was absolutely captivated with the main character, Rosaleen. I gave this an 8 out of 10 rating. Now understand this is not a professional rating. Meaning that i rated it on how much this film meant to me, not based on simple critique. The score for this film is one of the best i've heard. It might just be the best. The music, to me, is absolutely haunting. It certified it as a classic in my book.
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