Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I already mentioned in my review of Gary Brandner's novel, The Howling, that I'm not too fond of the film and enjoyed the book more. It's not a bad film, but the pace in the movie is much slower than in the book (surprising, I know). It takes too long for the werewolves to enter the film and I was bored throughout most of it.

Obviously I was exaggerating in my book review of The Howling when I said all the film and book have in common are werewolves and the main character's name.

Here are similarities between the two (contains spoilers):
  • Main character Kayrn and her husband Bill (named Roy in the book)
  • Werewolves
  • Criminal Eddie (in the film)/Max (in the book) Quist attacking Karyn, resulting in her nervous breakdown and being told by her therapist to spend some time in the country to relax
  • Character Chris Halloran, a friend of Kayrn and Bill/Roy, and savior of Karyn
  • Character Marcia (last name Lura in the book, Quist in the film)
  • Strange neighbours
  • Kayrn and Bill/Roy's marital problems
  • Bill/Roy's affair with Marcia
  • Bill/Roy getting bitten by a werewolf
  • Werewolf sex scene
There are actually more similarities than I thought. The biggest difference - and what made the film pale in comparison - is that the book is a simple werewolf story whereas the film has a complicated plot involving Karyn's career as a news anchor, serial killer Eddie Quist, her amnesia after her encounter with him, etc. I suppose they thought the book didn't have enough of a plot to make a movie. But all these extra plotlines just bored me and I found myself sitting there wondering when they were going to get to the werewolves.

The best part of the film were the werewolf transformations. It looked very realistic how they slowly sprouted pointy ears and claws. This even redeems the film a bit because once the werewolves finally are shown they look so cool that you forget how long it took for them to appear.

I've always thought that you should read a novel before seeing the movie based on it, and I try to do so, but I've learned something: a book can ruin a movie, but a movie can't ruin a book. You can still enjoy a book after you've seen the film because it's usually so different (trust me, I've done it enough with Stephen King). But when you see a film based on a book you like, you spend the whole time comparing it to the novel (why didn't they include my favourite character, scene, etc.). So from now on I'm going to watch whatever movie I want, regardless of whether or not I've read the book.

Rating: 3/5

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