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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Company of Wolves (1984)

I have to thank my friend Jay (from "Film Reviews From the Basement") for introducing me to this film years ago.  Not only is it an interesting look at the Little Red Riding Hood story, but an interesting werewolf anthology as well.

On the cusp of entering womanhood, Rosaleen dreams that her family and her live in a fairtale forest... but one with hidden, dark secrets that will change her life forever.  For in the forest lives a wolf would wants to have her... and her grandmother who wants to warn her about "the wolf with no fur..."

 "The Company of Wolves" is based on a short story by Angela Carter, with Carter co-writing the screenplay.  She'd also done a radio version of this story as well.

This is a fantastic film in my opinion.  The camera work is very creative and interesting.  The editing creates a great pace for the story.  The lighting and colours are well done and really create a dream-like feel to things.  The costumes are well done as well, giving Rosaleen the innocence of youth, while hinting at the sexual being just underneat her skin.

Angela Landsbury does a great job in her role as Granny.  She bring a charm, wit, and seriousness to the role all at the same time.  I grew to like Granny as she tried to warn Rosaleen about the world.  Sarah Patterson, who plays Rosaleen turns in a great performance.  She really brought out the character's innocence and growing sexuality.  Just a phenomenal job, I thought.  The only character that annoyed me was "Amorous Boy," played by Shane Johnstone.  I found him to be tedious.  Other than him, the cast did a great job.

The framing story is pretty basic- Granny is trying to warn Rosaleen about the dangers that men pose to girls of her age.  She does this by telling her stories about "the wolf without fur"- men that turn into wolves.  The smaller stories are interesting, and well written.  I would love to find the original short story version and read it.

The werewolf effects are extremely well done in my opinion.  Each story shows the transformation differently- which made it more interesting too.  The effects were pretty smoothly done, and fairly believable.  I especially like the one where the wolf snout comes out of the werewolf's mouth, though I also liked the "skin peeling transformation" scene too.

If you want an honestly decent werewolf anthology movie, with a good story, interesting characters, and great transformation scenes- then "The Company of Wolves" is definately one you should check out!  I'm giving this movie a spot in "The Good"!


  1. This movie is a classic! Need to watch it again soon! Solid review, as usual.

  2. I figured you'd appreciate my reviewing it. This is definately one of those non-mainstream films that I don't think get the attention it deserves.