Thursday, 12 November 2015

Review: Howl

2015, Sam Gittins, Rosie Day, Eliot Cowan

I am always eager to watch anything that comes from the British horror scene, not just to support my own country but because of a brilliant track record both recent and old. With the likes of 28 Days Later and Eden Lake, can 2015's Howl cement its place amongst the greats?

Our story begins when a bored and frustrated train attendant is forced to work a double shift on the last train home travelling across London. He and his work colleague (and potential love interest) knuckle down for the long haul when the train collides with something on the track, stranding the couple and the train's passengers.

There have been quite a few train themed horror films, Creep being one of the more successful. these films are effective because there is a crushing sense of claustrophobia once something out of your control happens, you a stranded with strangers and are then forced to form alliances.
Watching these alliances form between the small but varied cast of characters was a big highlight for me. Some of the characters started out very stereotype but surprised me in a big way when they did something really clever or brave. This was definitely intentional on the director's part and kept me glued to the screen. It is always enjoyable when you can really get behind a character and root for them to survive, equally satisfying is waiting for potential villain's demise!

The creatures themselves, which you can probably tell by the title are Werewolf like, were spectacular for the film's budget! We are introduced nice and slowly but when the first on is revealed in all it's terrifying glory I actually muttered an audible 'wow' such a pleasant surprise!
The creatures are shown advancing on the train from the woods and the eerie effect of them standing on hind legs with eyes glowing was an image I couldn't shake for the rest of the film.

The Verdict

Howl is a thoroughly well crafted British indie horror flick! The diverse cast of interesting and well developed characters coupled with some great practical creature effects make a it a bloody good time.


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