5 Werewolf Movies That Were One Step Away from Greatness - Bloody Disgusting!

5 Werewolf Movies That Were One Step Away from Greatness

Werewolves are frustrating. They’re some of the best movie monsters to have ever graced the screen. Legends of humans turning into wolves have persisted for thousands of years. There’s clearly something about them that speaks to us on a deep, primal, even personal level. Werewolves aren’t just snarling creatures that howl at the moon and look really cool. They’re us. They’re the id literally run wild. They reflect humanity, the same way that every great monster does. That’s why they’ve lasted so long and why we’re clearly still so interested in seeing them.

The problem is that unlike vampires or zombies, werewolves require a lot of visual effects work to really pull them off successfully. More than any other monster, great werewolf features can be hindered by creatures that don’t work as well as they should. Conversely, some films can have great looking effects, but just fall apart when it comes to the overall story.

As a fan, it can be so frustrating to get excited for a werewolf movie only to be ultimately disappointed. There are so many little details that are hard to get right. It didn’t help as a kid to have so many preconceived notions of what a werewolf should and should not look like. That’s another thing that really gets people into trouble, everyone goes into a werewolf flick with different expectations.

Not every werewolf movie is destined to be a classic on the level of Wolf Man, Howling or American Werewolf. Most of the enjoyable ones fall into the realm of “pretty good.” Sometimes pretty good is all you need. It certainly suffices for an evening’s entertainment.

But sometimes it’s hard not to look at some of these decent werewolf flicks and think about how easily they could have been on the same level of the classics, had it only been for one or two changes.


Bad Moon

The number one thing Bad Moon has going for it is an absolutely terrific monster. This is one of the best werewolves ever committed to film and, as I’ve pointed out, that’s no easy feat. That’s not to say that the creature is its only strong point. The overall story’s pretty great as well. Bad Moon is basically Fright Night if Charley Brewster was a dog. The set up is the same. Family dog knows that the kind-but-distant uncle who’s moved into a trailer next door is actually a werewolf.

The movie gets a lot of mileage out of the dog’s acting. But there is a bit of a low-budget atmosphere to the whole thing. And really, that’s what it comes down to. The only thing keeping Bad Moon from being a classic is money. With a bit more time to enrich a couple of the performances and get the best out of the locations, it could have been something truly special.

There’s one moment in particular that serves as the only glaring weakness. It’s a transformation sequence. And a bad one. In a movie filled with great practical FX work, bad CGI really stands out. Some more money put into that scene in particular could have made a world of difference.


Cursed

I know, I know. Wes Craven’s Cursed feels several steps away from being a masterpiece. But when you step back and look at it, you’ve got Wes Craven reteaming with Kevin Williamson after the huge success of Scream and Scream 2. You’ve got a great cast including Christina Ricci, Michael Rosenbaum and Jesse Eisenberg in an early role. There’s so much in this film that feels like a recipe for success.

So where was the success? Why did the movie turn out so badly? It kind of comes down to the studio. Cursed was shot beginning-to-end at least twice, with the grand total being something closer to three times before all was said and done. Dimension let Craven and Williamson do whatever they wanted, assuming they were going to get something similar to Scream.

Of course, the writer/director duo didn’t want to retread old ground, so they came up with something totally different and that was what they shot the first time around. How different? The original version was a siege picture and Ricci and Eisenberg’s characters were not even related. I have no doubt that if Dimension had simply let Craven complete the film he’d shot in the first place, Cursed could easily have been something amazing.

Cursed Werewolf


The Wolfman (2010)

The problems facing The Wolfman are essentially the same ones that ballooned into the major issues facing monster movies today. There’s a need for spectacle. There’s a need to treat classic horror characters as icons on the same level as Batman and Spider-Man and to turn them into dazzling action franchises. This is Universal’s current model in place for building its cinematic monster universe. It didn’t work for Dracula Untold and the jury’s still out on The Mummy, but it began with The Wolfman.

One of the biggest problems with the movie is that you can see how it turned from a straightforward gothic horror film to a horror/action hybrid through extensive reshoots and editing. But the number one issue, which is an extension of that, is that all of the great practical FX work created for the movie was just tossed aside. We get a few bits here and there, but for the most part the focus is on generic CGI creations.

This was the film that caused Rick Baker’s decision to retire. He’s not shy about admitting that. The man who won the very first Oscar for special makeup FX—for a werewolf movie, no less—got into the business with dreams of one day doing the remake of The Wolfman. When that time came, most of his work was replaced. Had the movie focused on being the FX-driven, moody horror it was designed to be, the results would be much more memorable.


Underworld

Technically, Underworld is also a vampire movie, sure. But it’s a werewolf movie too. For many people, the Underworld series is everything that’s wrong with horror today. It’s big budget, CGI-heavy, defies its indie roots, it’s not attempting to be scary, it’s just loud dumb fun. That doesn’t do much for most fans. But as much as I complained about action/horror, there’s a place for it. There’s a resurgence in campy large-scale action right now that’s kind of great. I think the problem with Underworld, speaking strictly to the original, is actually that it’s not big dumb fun.

Because it’s not any fun at all. A Matrix rip-off centering on a war between vampires and werewolves has all the ingredients for a gleeful, popcorn-munching good time at the movies. But Underworld takes itself so, so seriously. It doesn’t want you to enjoy it. It doesn’t want you to have fun. Sure, it looks cool. But it’s so dark and dreary and the story is just so dense. Levity could have meant everything for Underworld.

A bit of humor or just a simple sense of fun would have balanced out some of the really serious moments and made them work that much better. The twist is honestly kind of brilliant and the main cast is great. If we’d been allowed to have a little fun with it, that would have made all the difference.


Silver Bullet

I’ll admit this right out of the gate: I love Silver Bullet. It’s one of my all-time favorite werewolf films. It’s got a great, surprisingly touching story. Gary Busey gives one of the best performances of his career. Corey Haim is a genuinely likable, sympathetic young lead. He’s a handicapped hero who’s not defined by his handicap. He brings an appreciated wit to a role that could have been too serious in the wrong hands. It had a quaint, small town atmosphere that I related to as a kid. It felt so similar to the town I grew up in.

The movie handled the mystery elements way better than Cursed would wind up doing. Most werewolf flicks stray from a whodunit structure, but it’s always been one of the best things about Silver Bullet for me. It’s a small town slasher where the villain just happens to be a werewolf. So what’s the problem?

Well, it’s the monster. It’s bad. It’s really bad. Frustratingly, it looks great in the quick glimpses we’re treated to throughout the first two thirds. The general shape suggests one of the best werewolves of all time. The silhouette is great. Even the close ups on the teeth, claws and eyes work very well. And then, when it’s revealed in full at the end, it just falls apart. The mystery dies. It’s a shame, because it’s genuinely the only thing holding it back from being one of the all-time greats.

Silver Bullet 1985

  • Ocelot006 .

    Only one step?

  • Alanmac

    My kids and I LOVE watching Silver Bullet on a regular basis. We see it as more of a comedy than anything else. SO many great lines like “Are you gonna make lemonade in your pants?” and “Ooooooh that hurts ma’ parts”. The flower pot house death scene and the suicidal pregnant girl are very well done tho. Two of our favorite laughs are the church full of werewolves dream sequence and the rubber dummy with a baseball bat to the head wound being held up in the fog. Hilariously wonderful movie!

    • Dagon Cleo Macready

      “I’m a little too old to be playing ‘Hardy Boys meet Reverend Werewolf’!” as delivered by Busey, is my favorite line in the entire movie.

  • James

    Silver bullet is simply awesome

  • Elizabeth

    Was Underworld ever supposed to be horror? It was made to cash in on the Urban Fantasy book craze that was going on at the time (Laurell K. Hamilton, etc). The writers pretty much stole all of the plot points from various popular UF series.

    • Dave ‘Wilko’ Wilkinson

      Was just gonna say the same thing. I don’t think anyone ever tried to sell Underworld as a horror.

  • Tiger Quinn

    I was just talking to somebody about this, that for some reason werewolves just don’t get the respect they deserve – CGI makes them look like shit, practical effects make them look like a different kind of shit. The Howling, I think, was probably what came closest, though it hasn’t aged well – the gritty, sleaszy quality of the intro was exactly perfect, and even when they moved to the New Age colony that oily sexuality was still there.

  • Nicolas Caiveau

    I love Underworld ! But this was NEVER supposed to be horror ! It’s supernatural action. -_-

  • jasonlives1986

    How the he’ll is underworld “technically” a vampire movie too?

    The lead character is a friggen vampire

    • Tiger Quinn

      Given that the story is about them fighting werewolves, I’d say it’s not a vampire movie. Being a little pedantic, no?

      • jasonlives1986

        It’s not a werewolf movie or a vampire movie.

        It’s both

    • I personally consider them to be fairly run-of-the-mill action movies. The fact the characters are vampires and werewolves respectively seems almost incidental. All the characters could have been human and it would have still worked… although I do freaking love those movies.

  • jasonlives1986

    Also silver bullet isn’t one step away from being great.

    It is great. It’s a little dated but I love that movie

  • J Jett

    SILVER BULLET is without a doubt a great movie. there’s not one thing about it that I don’t like. in fact it’s easily one of the best King adaptations ever IMO.
    and even though I love EVOLUTION and AWAKENING a bit more, UNDERWORLD is awesome/great as well.

    • I LOVE Silver Bullet too. I’m hoping the oft rumoured remake might stick slightly closer to the novella, although the current version is pretty close.
      I’m also hoping that the rumoured Howling remake will actually follow the book this time – although The Howling is a great movie, it is more of a namesake than anything, as it really isn’t much like the book at all.
      The thing they need to do, though, is make the movies for adults, not younger teens: 18 plus rating as the current ones are.

      • Saturn

        They already remade The Howling as a closer version to the novel, it’s called Howling 4 – The Nightmare Returns!

        • Yeah, I watched it – and it still wasn’t much like the book, although was admittedly a lot closer than the first one. Unfortunately it was a terrible, terrible movie with no budget at all. I want to see a ‘proper’ The Howling movie. The book really is a lot creepier than the movie was, and admittedly a lot more sexualised too – maybe that’s why they skipped over that stuff, who knows. The book is definitely more brutal than the movie.

          • Saturn

            I remember enjoying the trilogy of books when I read them 20 odd years back, I may have to revisit them at some stage.

            I’m not sure if it’s still a thing, but was a remake of The Howling announced sometime in the last 18 months or so?
            It would be nice if they actually made the “proper” trilogy this time around. Hell, if not in movie form, why not just adapt those books for tv? That seems to be where it’s happening these days.

          • I think The Howling: Reborn was the rumoured remake that was alleged at the time to be closer to the books, but was actually nothing like it at all, even less so than the original movie was. I’d love to see a proper adaptation of all the books, but the problem with the books is that The Howling 3 somewhat retcons the events of the first two, but in a very awkward way that doesn’t make sense. To this day I don’t think anyone is really sure why Garry Brandner did that. I don’t think the third book was as good as the first 2, but it would still make an enjoyable watch if you’re a fan.
            I guess ‘they’ could always re-write it so that it fit more readily into the first two stories though. A TV adaptation could be interesting if it was done as a short season like Stranger Things, I don’t think there’s enough material there to drag it out into anything longer. Maybe 4-5 episodes per book absolute tops.

  • Biscoito18

    I love the opening scene in Bad Moon. The werewolf cut that girl’s flesh like butter, some good practical effects and sex.
    Also, for me, “The Howling” is the best werewolf movie I’ve seen, even with some cheesiness here and there.
    They need to do with werewolves what they did last year with witches (The Witch, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) and mermaids (Evolution).

    • J Jett

      slight spoiler for JANE DOE. just sayin’. 🙂

      • Biscoito18

        sorry, I’ve edited out

  • Robby

    Howl is also another really good one. Late Phases also.

    • I just couldn’t get to grips with Late Phases, I’m not sure why… there was something ‘missing’ from that movie for me.

      • J Jett

        Andy, i agree regarding LATE PHASES. i so wanted to like if not love that movie but the werewolf design/fx/execution was horrible/amateurish.

        • I’m not even sure why I took umbrage with it, I think I just found the story a little slow. I kind of liked Wer, although those weren’t werewolves in the traditional sense. I LOVED Dog Soldiers – I thought the f/x were great. Practical f/x are so much better than CGI ones when done right… at least in my opinion!

  • Gregg

    I so wanted to love Wolf Man, I mean, Benicio Del Toro was perfect casting and then Sir Anthony Hopkins. It’s a “good” movie, but out of all the movies on this list this is truly the one that could have been “great” if they would have let Rick Baker do what he does better than anybody.

    As for Underworld, I love those damn movies. Sure, I have an unnatural obsession with Kate Beckinsale, but that aside I just enjoy the whole mythology of them. They were never advertised as horror movies, and they aren’t.

    • Saturn

      With the Wolfman remake the director’s cut is the way to go – I enjoy it a lot more than the theatrical version, it’s a different beast!

      Although I do prefer the original.

      • J Jett

        Saturn, i’ve never seen the director’s cut of the WOLFMAN remake. i will check it out!

        • Saturn

          Personally I feel that it’s much better than the theatrical, in the same way the alternate cut of Alien 3 is.

    • Dead-behavoir

      100% agree

  • BOOGIEMAN

    The Wolfman was one of my favorite movies of 2010 overall, and it was a very good year. When I asked one friend why didn’t he liked it, he said he didn’t even watch it because it’s dumb that they casted Puerto Rican to play British lord. I was under impression that movie flopped only because lots of people have prejudices like my friend. Or … maybe I like The Wolfman based on my prejudice that every movie with Benicio Del Toro is good, because he is one of my favorite actors 🙂

  • Seb Freeman

    Seeing “Dog soldiers” by Neil Marshall in this list wouldn’t be a shame in my opinion. The story is not the best and it’s not a “classical” werewolf but I really enjoyed watching this. It’s brutal, gory, there’s a pinch of humor and the monsters are really badass!

    • The Fucked Up

      Dog Soldiers should not be in this list beacuse it doesn’t suffer from any of the defects that the listed movies do. It’s simply a badass werewolf flick, up there with the greats.

      • Saturn

        Yup – Dog Soldiers shouldn’t be anywhere near this list.
        It’s easily among the best werewolf movies ever made.
        For those who enjoy Dog Soldiers I would recommend another recent British werewolf movie called HOWL.
        Basically it’s a werewolf attack on a passenger train and is easily one of the better movies of it’s ilk.

        • J Jett

          i agree DOG SOLDIERS shouldn’t be anywhere near this list. i love that movie! HOWL is also really good too!

          • 1EyeJack

            Anyone here see Blood Moon with Grace Jones and Tim Curry?
            It’s been a while, but I recall really enjoying this movie. Perhaps I’m biased… Grace Jones for Gods sake!

          • Melissa Sharp

            The problem with Dog Soldiers is usually no one beyond the horror movie genre knows what it is. I love that movie. When ever I bring it up to people, most have no idea what I am talking about. It does suffer from a step away from greatness due to marketing and limited theater release if it had one. I think it would match the love of Predator/Aliens to the masses if it had better marketing and all theaters showing it.

          • Seb Freeman

            As I said, I really enjoyed watching (and watching again) but I said it would have a place in the list according to the “1 step to perfection” rule. If you consider this movie as a masterpiece, I won’t contradict you at all, I just meant it’s not a “typical” werewolf story with only one monster hiding among the population that would be a reason why it doesn’t belong to the “Classics Club”. I agree with Melissa when she says it doesn’t have the popular success it deserves beyond the horror movie circle, it’s been recommended to me by a friend and I’ve never heard about it before. Not disappointed ^^

        • RedSoxMamma

          Thanks I’ll check it out. Sorry to be late to the party here…

          • Saturn

            You don’t have to apologise for owt , just have a good time with HOWL – it’s pretty damn good.

          • RedSoxMamma

            Caught it last nite. Hubby & I enjoyed it. Thanks for the heads up. Always nice to see a good werewolf flick.

          • Saturn

            Happy to hear you enjoyed it.

    • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

      Movie was fuckin terrible. I cannot fathom the praise it gets (praise I once bought into and blindly bought the movie based on, the last time I ever did that)

      Werewolves looked retarded (stuffed wolf heads duct taped on top of joke muscle tights with finger extensions = amazing apparently) and had some of the worst action I’ve seen in a modern movie not made by The Asylum (soldiers shoot at nothing, cut to horrible looking werewolves walking away slowly. Did they ever not just stumble around at a cripple’s pace? No, or else the stuffed heads would fall off. I kid, they also lazily slapped and bashed their heads against the walls. Scary stuff).

      I’ll admit it’s kinda funny though. In a so bad… kind of way.

  • lonestarr357

    Cursed was 20 steps from greatness, at least. The Wolfman was pretty good, though, if shameful in how Rick Baker’s fine work was mostly discarded.

    • Dead-behavoir

      Rick Baker is a Legend especially when it comes to werewolves in general, I think his concept of the Wolfman was so iconic to Lon Chaney Jr.’s orginal Wolfman, and to Jack Pierce idea, which is my favorite Universal monsters of all time, was a real let dwn that they didn’t go with practical effects at least for the transformation sequence, was definitely a let down for me, for Hollywood making everything CGI isn’t always the way to go

    • Nat Brehmer

      I’ll give you this one. Cursed is a hard guess. I was just banking on the first version they shot (which we’ve seen none of) being way, way better than the version we got.

  • Bad Moon was alright, although it seemed a bit low rent. The Wolf Man was ok. Silver Bullet is one of the best werewolf movies going so far as I am concerned. It is genuinely creepy in the way The Howling is, really sinister and ‘broody’. I actually didn’t even think the werewolf make-up was that bad, there’s definitely worse ones out there!

    • Saturn

      I agree that Silver Bullet is one of the best werewolf movies out there – it, along with Bad Moon, would be in my top 10 favourite werewolf movies.
      The werewolf genre is my 2nd favourite after slasher movies, and when done well they are fantastic movies – but when done not-so-well……

      • I love a good werewolf movie, they were always the scariest monster to me when I was a kid. The Company of Wolves was always the one that used to scare the crap out of me as a kid. There’s something truly nightmarish about it.

        • DKelleyM

          The Company of Wolves is one of those intricately styled movies that can lull you, then shock your socks off, and you’re right, very scary. Brotherhood of the Wolf is another, and both are eminently watchable and enjoyable.

          • I think TCoW is so scary purely because it isn’t really coherent. I know the whole plot is that it is meant to be a girl’s nightmare, hence why it is just these little vignettes within a bigger story. Some of wolf transformations are the most brutal and horrific ever filmed – even more intense than in American Werewolf IMHO. I think I watched BOTW years ago but didn’t think it was that great… although I forget why!
            I wish they would hurry up and bring Silver Bullet out on BluRay.

  • Dominic Lee

    No love for Company of Wolves? Great fx work, super cool movie.

    • Nat Brehmer

      Maybe too much love, given the theme of the list.

  • Kyle Freeman Ortega

    no WolfCop?

    • The Fucked Up

      WolfCop is covered in way to much cheese. Otherwise it’s a hoot.

  • Matt Graupman

    Good call on “Underworld.” It’s such a gloomy slog of a movie. I’d be a terrible movie executive because I have no idea how that film could launch a (very successful) franchise.

  • Silver Bullets problems come from Stephen King himself who wanted the werewolf to be more bear like in his appearance as he wanted to separate it from The Howling and American Werewolf in London films that came out prior.

    Too bad because the dream scene werewolves of the church members was way more terrifying than the actual werewolf itself.

    Silver Bullet is also the type of film that’s perfect to reboot as it’s not a classic nor does it have a large cult following. It’s a good but flawed film that could be improved on without the baggage of the original (plus it’s based on a novella by King).

    • DKelleyM

      I disagree. Silver Bullet is a classic, and it does have a cult following, and rebooting it would be about as successful as the Poltergeist remake. If you cannot recreate the atmosphere and the chemistry of likeable and interesting characters, which is a very difficult thing to do, (see again Poltergeist 2015) you should leave it alone. I don’t feel the same about all remakes, of course, some are exceptional.

    • Dave Brown

      I disagree too. It’s not the design, big burly bear version suggested by King, it’s the execution. The suit performer doesn’t have a movement style that suggests other than a guy in a suite, and the big bear-like head, proportion-wise, doesn’t match the slimmer looking body. That’s the problem. The movie is directed workman-like too, no flair for the material.

      I dig the movie and that’ smostly because of King’s screenplay and the very good cast. The creature doesn’t work as well as it should, not at all, and it has nothing to do with King’s creative input on how it looked. He didn’t create it, just the concept.

  • Munchie

    Hire actual werewolves. FX problem solved.

    • Jimmy Cthulhuhan

      Robin Williams missed his true calling, RIP.

  • Bobby Jones

    i liked the werewolf in Cabin in the Woods

    • Nat Brehmer

      That was a really good looking werewolf. Good call.

  • Chris Genth

    Silver bullet is my one of my favorite movies, and u have to remember this movie came out in 1985. I thought the werewolf looked fine, no its not a howling or amercian werewolf as far as fx masterpiece. But that’s okay it has a great story and back when I first saw it the movie it blew me away that the preacher was the wolf. So in my opinion silver bullet was great

    • I love this film too and personally never had a problem with the big reveal at the end. It’s like a big bear but still looks pretty cool.

      • Chris Genth

        Yeah i think for 1985 it wasn’t bad at all

      • deez nuts

        Oh c’mon. The werewolf looked worse than werewolf costumes you can get at Wal-Mart during Halloween.

    • deez nuts

      1985 is not an excuse for bad effects. American Werewolf in London has the best werewolf effects ever and it came out in 1981.

      • The Fucked Up

        It’s not bad effects, it was a bad design choice. The execution was fine within the limits of the budget.
        The church scene was fantastic, there were some terrific werewolves in there so they could have pulled it off, if King hadn’t butted in with his “let’s make him look like a care bear on acid”.

      • Chris Genth

        I agree with u and if u looked at my first post I said that. Silver bullet didn’t have the wonderful fx like amercian or the howling, but it had a great story and good characters.

    • The Fucked Up

      Saw Silver Bullet when I was 10, and I wanted Red to be my uncle too. Now I can see what a useless tool he really was, but with his heart in the right place. The shot near the end when Jane casually looks to the left and for a split second you see the werewolf looking through the window. Instant nightmare material for anyone too young for this crap 🙂

      • Chris Genth

        Yeah I hear u, I think the reason I’ve always liked the movie is cause red reminded me of my own uncle. Had 2 divorces, all he did was drink. He bounced in and out of my life and my mom and him were always arguing about his lifestyle

  • Kiaser Sose

    What happened to Howling

  • Funnily enough out of all the werewolf films I still think that London Tube scene in American Werewolf in London is the best – even if you only just glimpse the beast for a split second with that awesome top down shot from the top of the escalators.

    • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

      It’s also scary as hell.

  • Rake

    I agree with most of your points here. BadMoon had a great werewolf but they wanted to force that goofy dog vs werewolf fight at the end. The dog should have been gone way before that. When a dog fights a werewolf the dog loses and loses quickly, end of story. Otherwise why aren’t we watching a film about a man turning into a dog and mauling people? Silver Bullet was goofy, a one eyed priest trying to run over a kid in a wheel chair is just a tad over the top.

    • Matt

      Not trying to rip on you, but “goofy dog vs werewolf” thing was the whole point. The movie was based on the excellent book “Thor”, which told the story from the dog’s viewpoint.

    • wedellbudwhite

      Why was the dog goofy in bad moon? Thor was boss. Why does a dog loose quickly it has week human in it

      As to silver bullet, a guy trying to run over a kid in a wheelchair is too over the top but a werewolf priests not?

  • Daniel Anderson

    My issue with underworld wasn’t the werewolves, it was the vamps (except for Marcus IIRC). Why would a vamp in the beginning scene spend his time hissing at a werewolf that obviously overpowers him physically when the rest of the series the non-badass physically capable vampires simply run the hell away?

    Then again it would’ve probably killed an otherwise great scene.

  • craig smith

    Id have to say the howling was one step away from greatness. The movie has everything. Especially the transformation scenes. The werewolves are incredible. Just one thing. Why did they make Dee Wallace look like a poodle. Terrible. I just dont get it. Why not make her look like the other werewolves in the movie. This could have been the best werewolf movie ever but for that. American werewolf in London still reigns as number 1

    • Grimphantom

      I honestly wasn’t bothered by it, i was more with the sequel since it was terrible, kinda wish they continued with Wallace’s character kinda based with the book but adding the stuff we saw from the first movie.

    • Valak

      I was happy to meet David Naughton, from An American Werewolf In London, but he wasn’t so happy to meet me…
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc54272d78ebc199f16e2d17807d1a735a9a6e46bf5c5cfd338bb30edde99efa.jpg

      • The Fucked Up

        Jesus christ is that David Naughton? Unlike the movie, hasn’t aged well, sheesh…
        And who’s that guy standing next to him with the weird smile? /sorry couldn’t help it

        • Munchie

          Dude needs to lay off the Dr. Pepper.

    • Nat Brehmer

      Oh my God, you’re right. I was thinking of Howling as such an all-time classic that I never even thought about it, but I have the same problem with the ending. She looks bad and it would’ve been more impactful for her to look just like the other werewolves. Of course, with the reaction to Silver Bullet, people would’ve LOVED seeing The Howling on this list.

    • Aaron King

      According to Ms. Wallace having Karen turn into a cute werewolf was her idea. Something about vulnerability and how all the other folks who turned into werewolves in the film were evil.

  • Grimphantom

    Honestly i think there’s many ways to make a really cool but frightening werewolf but the problem on most is the story, how can you add them into it since they are the main focus.

  • Sirengx

    tbh i think Ginger Snaps should be on this list.

    • The Fucked Up

      No it shouldn’t. It’s a staple in werewolf cinema. Maybe just not as well known as AWIL or Howling, but definitely a great one.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      Ginger Snaps is the greatest of them all I would say.

  • Rohan

    I liked bad moon, thought it was an interesting movie, with a dog being the main character.

  • Christopher West

    The Boy Who Cried Werewolf is one I’ll always remember.

  • Stefan Heikel

    I hope to God that we will someday see the original cut of Cursed. If they can do it for Nightbreed and The Excorcist III I don’t see why they can’t for that.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Wolf (1994). A good movie that could’ve been great.

    • Judge Satchmo

      Completely agree. Wolf is one of those movies I always remember as way better than it actually is.

      • Stefan Heikel

        Likely due to the cast/director.

    • Nat Brehmer

      I really, really thought about Wolf. But I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on the thing that would have really pushed it into greatness.

      • Carlton Fisher

        I think the thing that holds it back from real greatness for me is they push the metaphor aspect so hard that it loses any sort of subtext and becomes a punch in the face. Yes, we get it–werewolves are like the Id. It’s not that hard a leap to make. Otherwise, it’s an awesome ode to the original studio horror movies with the larger-than-life gothic sets, which I thought were translated really, really well for a modern day setting. It’s a shame they couldn’t have held the same subtlety in the script.

      • Raymond Betts

        Uh, Nicholson pissing on the competition isn’t great enough? Dude!

        • Nat Brehmer

          To be honest, Spader outshines Nicholson for me in this one.

          • Evan3

            And isn’t that tragic? How do you waste Nicholson!?

  • Frank Thomas Flachmeier

    I enjoyed “Late Phases”…

  • Brian VonDerahe

    What are your thoughts on Dog Soldiers?

    • Raymond Betts

      Best. Flat out.

    • Munchie

      Best since American Werewolf in my opinion.

    • RedSoxMamma

      Awesome, my fav werewolf movie.

  • Davidaja

    Say what you want about “Underworld”, but any movie with Kate Beckinsale + Tight Leather = Money coming out of my wallet…

  • The Fucked Up

    I would love to read Craven’s original Cursed script, the one that would have made the movie… I don’t know…. good at least? Anybody have it? Links?

  • Meisha’s Taint

    It’s so damn hard to make a convincing werewolf in film either by practical effects or CGI. I think Dog Soldiers is the one truly great looking werewolf in movies.

    Also really like Micheal Jackson’s werewolf in thriller. I like how it’s almost a mix of cat and werewolf as opposed to dog/werewolf type which seems to be the norm.

  • Bluegrasslass

    Try Late Phases. I loved that film. As far as classics go, it’s got to be An American Werewolf in London. It still stands up to this day Fx-wise.

    • Bill Boozer

      I loved the story and atmosphere of Late Phases. The actual monster FX kind of ruined it for me. I thought the creature (s) were ALMOST amazing, but came off as goofy looking.

      I still like the movie a lot despite that. One of the best werewolf movies in the last 10-15 years.

      • chuck

        Yeah that was my biggest issue,the creature effects where abysmal, just kept taking me out of the film.

        The story is fucking top notch and if there is ever a movie that could benefit from a remake to just update the FX that is it.

  • last.caress

    An American Werewolf in London and Dog Soldiers are, for me, the only truly great werewolf pics. Ginger Snaps comes close, as does Wer.

  • James

    I thought Howl was on the verge to greatness with the setting and the wolves but it just didn’t quite hit the mark.

  • Luca Vasto

    silver bullet is a masterpiece

  • Pf Mahan

    I liked the wolf from the made for tv movie Werewolf with John jay York, it became a series

  • THGrimm

    Keeping with the theme of the list and picking werewolf films that COULD have been great and aren’t already, I have to go with Big Bad Wolf with Richard Tyson. It’s definitely low budget, but the werewolf (more wolf-man, really) looked pretty good and talked! Not usually my cup of tea, but they created a somewhat funny asshole werewolf. Plus, there’s a little mystery going on and decent pacing. I think the only thing that ruins it is the low budget and subpar cinematography. It’s a fun movie, though, plus it has Marnie from Halloweentown!

    • thegreatiandi

      Remember how she got ” the evidence ” from him? Lol

      • THGrimm

        Ah haha, yes. That was creative. She really took one for the team.

  • Carlton Fisher

    I think another one for the list (though I’m sure most will disagree) is An American Werewolf in Paris. I know it treads on sacred ground by attempting to be a late-to-the-table sequel to a classic, but it works as big dumb fun. If anything caught the Scream vibe in a werewolf flick, I think AWIP came closest. No, it’s not great, and it doesn’t even really work as a sequel, except to cash in on the title. But I can’t hate it, and I even find myself happily going back to it fairly regularly.

  • Blade4693

    In terms of looks, I think Underworld has done the best job with werewolves. Remember William in Underworld Evolution? To me that is almost perfect for a werewolf in a movie.

    • thegreatiandi

      William was PERFECT. Getting killed the way he did was wackness though..

  • Tom Bradley

    What about the long forgotten ‘Wolfen’ that was a good film, I loved the way they shot some scenes from the view of the werewolves (they were more Wolves than Werewolves, but still shapeshifters) it creeped me out when it was released, starred Albert Finney.

  • WALKTER

    What about The Company of Wolves, that was pretty good.

  • Ben_Jammin

    With a bigger budget, better editing and better acting, Project Metalbeast would have been pretty phenomenal.

  • Raymond Betts

    “Dog Soldiers” rules!

    • James Allard

      I don’t think it belongs on this list because it didn’t miss the mark, anywhere. Brilliant film, and thanks for bringing it up because I was not sure what I was going to do today, and now it is on the top of the list.

  • Halloween_Vic

    Howl is actually a pretty great werewolf film and definitely underrated.

    • DannX68

      Yes. And I would recommend Wer as well.

      • Evan3

        And you’d be wrong to do so 😉

  • hiiiiii

    I personally love Underworld and Cursed, will check out Bad Moon.

  • Bloated Butcher

    Project Metalbeast was incredible

  • Michael Blackney

    I don’t understand why werewolf movies get a bad rep, I can think of plenty of great ones. Honestly, if any classic movie monster underachieves it’s mummies lol.

    I disagree with Silver Bullet and Bad Moon being here, I believe both of those movies ARE greatness!

    I would say Howl belongs here, some brilliant scenes and the wolves look great… from a distance – up close they look like that mutant dog from Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze.

    Another I would say is Wer which is awesome except for my one complaint that the werewolf just looks like a real hairy guy. Although both those movies are much better than the other three you listed. XD

  • Tetra-Gramaton-Cleric

    Anyone here remember that short-lived series on FOX, Werewolf?

    Great design. Easily one of my favorites.

    • Werewolf

      Skorzeny. THAT was a transformation to remember.

  • obabadook

    AMAZING LIST. these movies are actually the 5 who almost made it

  • dukeblues

    I agree totally with the Wolfman comments by the author. I LOATHE the idea that these Universal films have to be action packed extravaganzas. That is exactly why I will not see any of them. I loved the original 1930’s and 1940’s movies, watch them all the time. But there is a sense that audiences today will not watch a movie unless its nothing but action. This is simply not true. I am 35 years old, not exactly an old man. And even as a kid I preferred the classics to the more action oriented horror movies. Halloween and Halloween 2 were great. Nice a slow paced but scary, just like classic horror movies. Now we get heads exploding and CGI bullshit. Pass…

  • Evan3

    A year or so ago, BD tried to convince us that Alien 3 was a good movie. And now they’ve moved on to Cursed. At least I understand the attempt (wrongheaded though it may be) to reclaim Alien 3, but Cursed? Never!

    That said, you absolutely nailed the major issue with Underworld. Especially given the fact that Bill Nighy and Michael Sheen have proven that they have good comedic talentt, he waste of it here is all the more dumbfounding. But maybe Sheen likes playing over-serious horror roles (see also: Twilight).

  • Sykes

    I’ll never forgive Universal for puking CG all over The Wolfman and The Thing prequel. Both films are far from perfect, but could have been so much more if the studio allowed them to be what they were designed to be.

  • Carl Chrystan

    I won’t hear a bad word said about ‘Silver Bullet’, but as for the rest? pffft!! If you’re carrying on like this, why don’t you just include ‘An American Werewolf in Paris’?

  • Brad Tyler

    I really wish we could get a re-edited version of Cursed, true to Wes and Kevin’s original vision. I’d LOVE to see that and the footage exists.