If you’re in the market for a pretty good werewolf movie, Howl should do the trick.
It’s an understated thriller, low budget, definitely second billing on a double feature, but effective, efficient storytelling with proper levels of suspense, blood, and carnage.
A British passenger train chugging through the forest is waylaid by an obstruction on the tracks. Joe (Ed Speelers), a fed-up conductor responsible for the safety and welfare of less than a dozen riders, is tasked with finding out what went wrong.
From the looks of things, plenty.
The engineer is missing and there seems to be a large stag tangled in the train’s undercarriage. It’s a full moon and howling can be heard moving closer to the crippled choo-choo.
Most of Howl takes place on the train, where disgruntled passengers ignore Joe’s safety protocols, much to their detriment. Alliances form and crumble as the beast(s) seek to gain entrance and have a quick bite.
Horror Survival Pro Tip: Join forces. There are safety in numbers, a theorem proven correct as the trapped train commuters brutally gang stomp a werewolf into tomato sauce.
As is usually the case, when the group fragments under pressure the slaughter begins in earnest. Conductor Joe does his employers proud, trying till the very end to save lives, but the lad is in over his head.
Directed by Paul Hyett and written by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler, Howl is played absolutely straight. There are no subtle genre references, no in-jokes, nothing of the sort.
It’s a train under attack by werewolves! A story as old as time. There’s even a romantic subplot. All aboard!