Friday, 9 October 2020

A Werewolf In England (2020)

Writer-director Charlie Steeds seems like a lovely man. And he's certainly been doing his best in recent years to provide horror fans with a number of British genre flicks. So it's with no great relish that I warn people to avoid A Werewolf In England, which is arguably even worse than most of The Howling sequels (yes, I know what I am saying, unfortunately).

Tim Cartwright is Horrace, a man in charge of a prisoner (Archie, played by Reece Connolly) who is to be sentenced to death. They have to shelter at an inn for the night, and it turns out that those running the inn have some guests marked as potential food for some local werewolves.

On the one hand, fair play to Steeds for not letting his limited resources narrow his vision. Where some people might just figure out a way to make this a modern horror movie with one main creature, Steeds has decided to set this in years gone by, and to show multiple werewolves. On the other hand, there's a fine difference between genius and stupidity. Worrying about making one werewolf that looks good enough to be shown onscreen is one thing. Having more than one, or editing to make it look that way, doesn't feel like a wise decision, especially when things aren't quite as polished and effective as they could be (to put it nicely). The first full werewolf sighting is disappointing, and things don't get any better.

Oh well, at least the script is energetic and full of good humour, eh. No. Those involved with the film may have thought that, but it's not. Humour, like horror, is very subjective, but there's something far too on the nose about the potential metaphor that came to my mind as I had to endure a drawn-out scene in which a werewolf inadvertently sprayed two main characters with liquid shit. Nothing feels well thought out, and the second half feels very much like a lot of padding around whatever gags Steeds thought would be enough to make the movie worthwhile.

I wouldn't say that Cartwright and Connolly were bad, not exactly, but they're given material that needs them to do a lot of mugging and overacting in ways that don't really show them in their best light. Natalie Martins fares a little better, playing an "employee" at the inn, named Jane, but most of the cast are left to the same fate as the leads.

I like the attitude of Steeds, he doesn't seem to be in the mindset that so many others might adopt while working on independent British horrors and he's certainly trying to be prolific without necessarily joining in with the titles that feel like they've come out of some British manufacturing line (the ones that feel like British companies emulating The Asylum). It's just maybe worth remembering that quality over quantity can also be a good thing. 


Nothing like this is IN the movie.

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