HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Company Of Wolves, The Dread Riding Hood
Year: 1984
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Tusse Silberg, Micha Bergese, Brian Glover, Graham Crowden, Kathryn Pogson, Stephen Rea, Georgia Slowe, Susan Porrett, Shane Johnstone, Dawn Archibald, Richard Morant, Danielle Dax, Terence Stamp, Jim Carter
Genre: Horror, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) is a young teenage girl who lives with her family on a country estate in the forest, but today she is not feeling well. In spite of her parents arriving back, she does not go to greet them, much to the disdain of her sister Alice (Georgia Slowe) who runs up to Rosaleen's bedroom and knocks on the door, hissing "Pest!" at her through it. But if the girl hears, she does not respond, as she is fast asleep and suffering a series of strange dreams that verge on nightmares, beginning with a vision of Alice being chased through the forest by wolves. She will not escape...

It's difficult to come up with much that's new in the field of werewolf movies, but Neil Jordan and his co-writer Angela Carter did just that with The Company of Wolves by taking the traditional fairy tales of childhood and exposing the sexual subtext in them. You might think this was something of a stretch, but the film concerns itself with its main character's sexual awakening which largely adopts the form of a deep-seated fear of what awaits her when she finally loses her virginity. Potentially this is dodgy territory, but any sleaziness is undercut by the remarkably sustained atmosphere of fables, helped hugely by Anton Furst's glorious production design.

When this first came out, it was often compared to then-recent werewolf efforts such as An American Werewolf in London or The Howling, because Jordan staged a few effects sequences where people are transformed into lycanthropes. In truth, it's apparent the budget was not as high here as it was on Hollywood productions and the puppetry is obvious, yet this is mitigated by the imaginative aims of having, say, a long-missing groom return to his wife and tear off his skin all the better to change into wolf form, or a huntsman opening his mouth only for a lupine snout to be forced out. You can forgive the more blatant-looking fakery when the vision is so dedicated.

But it's men who get a very bad reputation from this film, as seen by Rosaleen dreaming that she is in a fairy tale and her Granny (Angela Lansbury great in a creepy-funny role) continually warning her to stick to the path and don't stray: she might as well be telling her that all men are after one thing so don't trust a single one of them. The idea of romantic love is given short shrift, as none of the men are a respectable match for the women they end up involved with, mainly because if they're not mediocre and lecherous then they're actual werewolves. The pattern this presents is a series of horror stories on this theme, all mounted in the larger woodland village narrative that the dream Rosaleen is inhabiting.

For as much as The Company of Wolves is about sexual feelings, it is also about storytelling and how these simple tales can relate so much about our hopes and fears; granted, it's mostly about the fears in this. The Little Red Riding Hood analogies reach their most obvious conclusion when Rosaleen goes to visit Granny in the woods and is distracted by a handsome huntsman (Micha Bergese) whose eyebrows revealingly meet in the middle. Yet while this is all very clever, it is peopled by such symbolic characters that you never grow quite as involved as you might have wanted, and there's a two-dimensional feel to them which is at odds with the psychology that they are made to bear. It's a very arch fantasy all round, and the treatment of male sexuality as something animal and predatory isn't especially flattering when it puts the female counterpart on such a pedestal. Music by George Fenton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4507 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: