With recent hair-raising hits like The Wolf of Snow Hollow, Werewolves Within, and The Cursed, it looks like werewolf movies are making a comeback, and monster movie fans are cheering. Lycanthropes have been the stars of some of the best creature features in film history, and some of the best werewolf flicks are often considered among the most excellent horror movies ever made.
Fans on Reddit have taken to discussing which are the very best werewolf movies of all time, either due to the iconic nature of their titular monster, their innovative approach to the mythology, or just how perfectly they capture the appeal of the genre.
Silver Bullet (1985)
Based on the only werewolf story that Stephen King ever wrote, Silver Bullet follows a young paraplegic boy in a small town who believes that a werewolf is responsible for a series of local murders. Basically, it’s the Boy Who Cried Werewolf.
A charming piece of ’80s horror with a memorable performance from Gary Busey, Silver Bullet has been compared favorably with other “kids vs. evil” movies of the time like The Lost Boys. This Redditor champions it, writing “for my money silver bullet stands alone at the top.”
Teen Wolf (1985)
Another one from 1985, Teen Wolf is not exactly a monster movie, but it uses the werewolf concept with such ingenuity that fans have still embraced it.
It follows a scrawny but likable high-school athlete who discovers that he’s a werewolf, and uses it to become the most popular kid at school. Featuring one of Michael J. Fox’s most endearing performances, Teen Wolf has remained so popular with fans that it launched a successful television show. As Reddit user bike619 puts it, “Teen Wolf with Michael J Fox is un-f***-withable.”
Ginger Snaps (2000)
One of the most clever and genre-savvy werewolf flicks out there, Ginger Snaps follows two outcast sisters that are forced to deal with a werewolf’s curse after one of them gets bitten in an attack.
Its sharp writing has been acclaimed, which is why this Reddit user said it has “one of the best written scripts I have seen.” As misanthropic as it is lycanthropic, Ginger Snaps is as much about navigating the social superficialities of high school as it is about delivering monstrous scares.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Dog Soldiers is a gem and an underrated horror film for any monster movie fan. It follows a group of British soldiers who have to fend off a pack of werewolves at an old farmhouse.
Reddit user 5meterhammer certainly agrees, writing “Dog Soldiers was WAY beyond my expectations going in.” It’s brutal, suspenseful, and exceptionally well-made by The Descent director Neil Marshall. With endearing characters and perfectly paced action, some would call Dog Soldiers the definitive werewolf movie of the new millennium.
Bad Moon (1996)
A cult classic movie among werewolf fans, Bad Moon follows a family that’s visited by an estranged relative, only to learn that he’s actually a vicious werewolf by night. The only thing that can stop his reign of terror is the faithful family dog.
As campy as the premise might sound, Bad Moon has been hailed by some fans as having top-tier werewolf action and an all-time great design for its central monster. That’s why Reddit user gazelezag calls it “an underrated classic.”
Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
The only werewolf movie from horror giants Hammer Studios, Curse of the Werewolf embraced the werewolf as a symbol of man’s inner beast and is still one of the most tragic films in the genre. Redditor mks2000 choose it, writing “Curse of the Werewolf is a great classic Werewolf story.”
It stars Oliver Reed in one of his most iconic roles as a man cursed with lycanthropy from birth, forced to try to keep his demons at bay. While the werewolf is most action is mostly kept to the end, and though it’s quite thrilling, it’s Reed’s embattled performance that makes Curse of the Werewolf such a classic.
Few other creature features can boast that they have an Oscar-winning actor playing their monster, let alone Jack Nicholson. Wolf came out during a time of “prestige” monster movies helmed by A-list talent, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Instead of adapting a classic story like that movie, Wolf instead uses its monster to explore the psychology of a man, past his prime, as he goes through a middle-aged crisis.
While there’s plenty for werewolf fans to sink their teeth into, it’s Nicholson’s compelling performance that makes Wolf so intriguing for Reddit users such as pizzabyAlfredo, who writes “Its was pretty grounded as far as a werewolf movie can get, and his final transformation form was awesome.”
The Howling (1981)
There might not have been a better year for werewolf movies than 1981, and The Howling is a prime example. One of Joe Dante’s Biggest Hits, The Howling follows a reporter who goes to a retreat after being stalked by a serial killer, only to discover that she’s in the middle of a werewolf colony.
Brilliantly written by John Sayles, no other werewolf movie brings more fresh ideas to the table than The Howling. It’s satirical commentary aimed at self-help gurus, its a psychological thriller about a woman dealing with trauma, and an ultra-satisfying monster movie with VFX by The Thing maestro Rob Bottin. All of that makes it a classic of the genre for users like Colemanation13, who says, “The Howling my dude.”
The Wolf Man (1941)
The movie that turned werewolves into iconic movie monsters, The Wolfman is the godfather of werewolf cinema and still wields a huge influence. It follows Lawrence Talbot, an aimless man who gets turned into a werewolf and has his entire life ruined.
While it doesn’t have the most exciting werewolf action by today’s standards, The Wolfman is ultimately a heartbreaking drama about a man inflicted with a curse that turns him into a bloodthirsty creature. This movie turned Lon Chaney Jr. into one of horror’s most iconic actors, and rightly so. No wonder it’s an easy choice for Reddit users like Forward3000.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
This immortal classic isn’t just the gold standard for werewolf movies, but horror comedies in general. Written and directed by John Landis, An American Werewolf in London follows two American backpackers in the UK, one of whom is killed by a werewolf while the other is bitten. What follows is a film that shocked audiences for not only how terrifying and bloody it was, but how it was somehow hysterical at the same time.
The most quotable werewolf movie ever, this flick blended genres like nothing before it and redefined the monster movie. That’s not even to mention the revolutionary transformation sequence from Rick Baker. Reddit user Dont_Order_A_Slayer says it perfectly, writing that “If there’s any answer to the question of best Werewolf movie other than American Werewolf in London, you’re answering wrong.”
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