Skip to main content

Film Review: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

An American Werewolf in London is a brutal and brilliant film. Paying tribute to the great monster flicks of yesteryear, director John Landis serves up a terrifying cinematic homage to the creature feature genre, while breaking new ground in the process. The concept of the story is simple, reminding the audience of legends and lore related to a fateful attack by a werewolf. In this case, the victims are two American men backpacking their way across the moors in Yorkshire. Jack (played by Griffin Dunne) is killed and David (played by David Naughton) survives despite his injuries. As the film moves forward, David's insistence that his transformation into a werewolf is imminent is what fuels the movie. We, the audience, are aware that his change is coming and we wait for it with edge-of-your-seat anticipation. And what a change it is. It's worth noting this film received the first-ever Academy Award for Best Makeup and that accolade is well-deserved. The transformation scene in which David's body morphs into that of a werewolf is an iconic moment on film. An American Werewolf in London is also unabashedly sexy. When David meets nurse turned love interest Alex Price (played by Jenny Agutter with a subtle seductiveness rarely seen in films these days), the two bring heat to the film. Landis also infuses the film with a strange but appealing sense of humor. Never do we (the audience) take what we're seeing on the screen as serious as we should because comedic moments remind us of how wild of a tale this is. It as if Landis is making a commentary along the lines of Sometimes life is so intense, you just gotta laugh

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Film Review: The Gilded Lily (1935)

From the opening scene on a bench outside of the New York Public Library in which Fred MacMurray’s character (Peter Dawes) tries to convince Claudette Colbert’s character (Marilyn David) that she’s capable of more in her professional life, this romantic comedy from 1935 is brimming with sweet charm and a big dose of female empowerment. There’s much to enjoy in the story, including a commentary about journalism threaded seamlessly throughout. Colbert is especially appealing in her portrayal of an earnest, hopeful woman who’s trying to balance her quest for success with her search for love. Her comedic timing is razor sharp here and director Wesley Ruggles gives her the breathing space on screen she deserves to demonstrate her considerable range as an actor. Known more for her dramatic work, it’s refreshing to see Colbert in such a fun role. There are echoes here of the stellar, Academy Award work she did one year prior in the classic film  It Happened One Night . Both MacMurray and Colb

Film Review: The Midnight Story (1957)

This dramatic film noir from 1957 is a fun watch. The plot is pretty layered, allowing for a few nice twists along the way. The story centers around a San Francisco traffic cop intent on solving the murder of a priest who was a father figure to him. He goes undercover, falls in love with a female cousin of the suspect, and comes up with a strategy to get a confession. Thanks to the screenwriters (John Robinson and Edwin Blum), the film is more character-driven, rather than relying on action. The character development is rich here, demonstrated in the writers choice to give the cast of characters complicated lives, including those of the police officers involved in the murder case. The acting is top-notch, including one of Tony Curtis’ best performances. Marisa Pavan and Gilbert Roland also shine in their roles, each bringing an intensity and beautiful desperation to the screen. Filmed on location in San Francisco, director Joseph Pevney keeps the story moving forward at a great pace. A

Film Review : Mermaids (1990)

Adapted from the novel by Patty Dann, this coming-of-age family dramedy from 1990 is an adorable film, filled with charm, terrific and very quotable dialogue, and career-best performances. Set in 1963, the film follows the lives of three women, specifically a single mother and her two young daughters. Told from the perspective of Charlotte, the oldest daughter (played by Winona Ryder), Mermaid s is endearing from start to finish. Director Richard Benjamin creates an intimate connection between Charlotte and the audience by allowing her inner thoughts to be shared through often hilarious voice overs. It's through these one-liners and monologues that our fondness for Charlotte grows, drawing us into the often-turbulent navigation through her young life. The characters of this film feel like people we know: you have the larger-than-life mother (played by Cher in her best role yet), her antithesis in the form of a conservative daughter, and the wild youngest child (a very young but im