Watch An American Werewolf in London
- 1 hr 37 min
An American Werewolf in London from 1981 is a horror-comedy film that sets the bar for werewolf movies with its stunning visual effects and dark humor. The film's director and writer, John Landis, creates a captivating story that follows two American backpackers, David and Jack, as they embark on a journey through the English countryside. Their adventure takes a frightening turn when they are attacked by a vicious werewolf, leading to Jack's death and David's transformation into a werewolf.
David Naughton plays the role of David, a young and adventurous man who is excited to explore London's pubs and landmarks with his best friend Jack, portrayed by Griffin Dunne. Jack is the perfect foil to David's optimistic persona, as he is more pragmatic and sarcastic. When the two friends venture into the moors, they encounter a scary werewolf that Jack dismisses as a figment of their imagination. However, the night's events soon show them that this is no hallucination.
As the film progresses, David starts experiencing strange and horrific nightmares that signify his impending transformation. These dreams are filled with gruesomeness and gore that effectively set the film's horror tone. Even without the werewolf, these scenes can unnerve the viewer, and add to the escalating dread that David feels.
As David's condition worsens, he seeks help from the beautiful and charming nurse Alex Price (Jenny Agutter). She takes care of David, and the two start to develop a romantic attraction. Agutter's character is a progressive woman surrounded by the sexism and patriarchy that mark late '70s Britain. Her intelligence, empathy, and independent spirit make her a character to root for.
The film's transformation scene is a highlight that many other werewolf films have tried to copy. David's transformation from human to werewolf is not only terrifying, but it's also visually stunning. He howls with agony and pain as his body contorts and distorts with each passing second. The transformation is made possible by the brilliant makeup effects from Rick Baker, and the seamless blend of this practical effects work with the film's grounded realism makes it unforgettable. It was the first time that the transformation of a werewolf was shown in such a detailed manner, and it became a benchmark in the horror genre.
The final act of the film is full of action, suspense, and even more horror as David comes to terms with the dark reality of his new condition. Through his eyes, we see the destruction and chaos he has caused, unknowingly turning into a monster that terrorizes the streets of London. It's in this horror that Landis and the film's screenplay shine, as it takes a classic horror trope and turns it up to eleven.
An American Werewolf in London is a masterpiece of horror that balances scares and comedy. Its humor is not a distraction from the horror, but rather enhances it. The film's charm lies in its combination of humor, romance, and horror as it brings a new perspective to the werewolf sub-genre. The movie takes you on an emotional journey that reveals far more than just a horror story about werewolves. It's about transformation, personal growth, and ultimately love.
Finally, the film's soundtrack, composed by Elmer Bernstein, adds to the mood of the film, with its haunting melodies and perfect placement. The use of recognizable songs also adds a touch of nostalgia that can make you grin while watching the film.
An American Werewolf in London from 1981 remains a horror classic, bringing together fantastic visuals, intricate makeup, and incredible performances to produce a movie you will never forget.
An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 55.