This week we watched An America Werewolf in London. I honestly do not know what to think about this movie. I wasn’t scared or horrified as I sat and watched it. I felt it was more a blend of horror and comedy than anything else.
It starts out with David and his friend Jack hitching hiking across the countryside. The director tries to build some mystery and suspense to the story by having a kind farmer tell them to stay on the road and head straight to town. Okay, so nothing fascinating about this. They arrive at a pub named the “Slaughtered Lamb.” I felt this was way too obvious of a name for the pub. Let’s just call it bloodbath and be done. The cheesiness goes further with the pentacle on the wall. Most of the time they try to hide it or obscure it in some way. They went for the gusto and had it right in plain sight. I wonder if there was indeed a point to have it out in the open. I think it would have been better to have it hidden somewhere and then it’s discovered, but that’s just me.
I don’t feel that the werewolf attacks were realistic because as Jack is attacked he just lays there and does nothing but scream for help. It honestly looked like it was a mechanical werewolf they had made for this scene. I would have liked to have seen more here. Why didn’t David try to hit the werewolf? He had his large backpack he could have used. I know that may not seem like a smart move, but something else would have been nice.
Something else that bothered me about this movie was the dreams that David had after his attack. I will say the first one he had where he is running through the forest was a good illustration as to what was happening with him. It made him seem more like an animal than a human. The rest of the dreams were just him not being in control of himself; which for a werewolf can happen. There were points that you couldn’t tell if he was dreaming or actually committing the act. I know they did this to cause conflict within David. I don’t know if it worked for me. I felt it was more confusing than if they had just shown in committing the acts.
I did find parts of this movie entertaining. I loved how Jack followed David around like his own little Jimmy Cricket. Now, Jimmy Cricket wasn’t trying to get Pinocchio to kill himself, but he did remind Pinocchio of what he was doing. Jack was a darker version of Jimmy Cricket in the sense that he kept telling David that the only way to end this was to kill himself. He had to end the bloodline of the werewolf to end the curse. I thought it was funny that the more we saw Jack, the more his body decayed. I don’t think that was effective. It made it more comical than serious.
They tried to add a darker element to the movie with all the victims haunting David. I don’t know if all of them needed to do this. I felt like it was trying to force the sympathy card and lay a massive guilt trip on David. I think Jack and maybe one other would have been effective enough to push that in. The director could have pitted his victims against each other, and it would have made David seem crazier.
Something I haven’t touch on yet was the transformation. I found this to be annoying and over the top. All he did was scream as he changed. I guess I wanted to be more believable. I don’t see someone transforming and still retaining that human sound to their voice. I felt the screams should have been more like howls than anything. Oh, and on this idea of the transformation and screaming why didn’t any of the neighbors come running to see what was going on. The door was even open.
Overall the movie isn’t bad. I just don’t feel it was a really good werewolf movie. It came across as comical to me. They tried to set it up as something scary and wound up blending horror and comedy. I feel this made it fall flat.