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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

A Werewolf in England (2020)

This movie has been sitting in my to watch pile for a year or two. Werewolf movies can be hard with a decent budget so when an independent filmmaker tries to tackle one on a low budget it normally doesn’t work out too well. But I’m always willing to give them a chance to surprise me so with that in mind I dove right in.

The movie opens with a prisoner, Archie Whittock, being taken for his trial and execution. I suppose the results are a given at least to the Councilor who is transporting him. The coach is stopped when the horses get spooked, so they are forced to stop at a creepy inn that is run by a sketchy brother and sister. Here we are introduced to a couple of locals including a “working girl” and a reverend. They all settle in for the night but soon discover that something is up. The innkeepers are killing and butchering the guests as some sort of tribute or offering to the creatures in the woods. Those creatures are of course werewolves!

The rest of the movie is the ever shrinking group of survivors fighting the monsters while trying to make it until sunrise. Along the way we get some kills, attempts at humor, and lots of guys running around in furry monster suits. The rules for the creatures are established and we are treated to some attempts at plot twists that may or may not make a lot of sense. Then the movie ends like it started with folks talking while riding along in a carriage.

Clocking in at an hour and twenty or so minutes I was impressed with A Werewolf in England. The story is interesting but not terribly original. Then again this is just a siege flick with werewolves beating at the doors, so they weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. The pacing is solid as the movie introduces the characters and gets right to killing them off. While the movie takes a bit of time getting to the actual monsters while spending some time on the crazy innkeepers trying to kill and butcher folks that is okay. When we do see the creatures the story kicks into an even higher gear as they do their best to make sure something interesting is always happening. Combined with their attempts at humor, this movie does lean into the comedy, and you have an entertaining watch. Be warned though that not all the jokes land and if you don’t like poop jokes then you may not have that much fun with it.

The cast does their best, but this is community theater level acting. The lines are stilted and delivered oddly. Though the fact that they are trying to make it somewhat comedic I was willing to cut them a bit of slack. I got a real Amicus classic Hammer vibe at least on a parody of those movies level so again I was okay with it. The action sequences and fights are painful to watch as the cast was clearly not up to the level of mayhem that they were attempting to bring to the screen.

As I expected the movie does struggle a bit bringing the creatures to the screen on a low budget. The monster suits have obvious seems and folds that makes them look a bit like a Halloween costume, a decent one, but not what I’d expect. We get three different creatures, though they dress them up a bit to make it look like there are more. Honestly, I think it may have been overly ambitious to try and tell this story with the resources they had on hand. Then again, we do have some fun kills with severed limbs, skulls with spines still attached, and a neat split head. I also thought the eyeball gag as well as the severed arm chasing the characters around was decent.

In the end I want to give the filmmakers kudos for trying to tell a story that they likely had no business attempting with what they had available to them. The fact that A Werewolf in England turned out as well as it did shows how much work and talent that they have. While far from a perfect movie I think it is worth checking out. Just manage your expectations and appreciate the obvious love of the genre that everyone involved has and I think it will give you a few chuckles as the blood sprays and bodies drop.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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