Top critical review
American horror classic that might be lost on a digitally-minded audience.
January 6, 2018
Three stars on my scale means an average movie that you wouldn't regret paying for at the cinema.
That said, this is a classic horror movie and was well made for its time. In our age of CGI and digital effects, it's very easy to dismiss older films as being "hokey" or "unrealistic," but there is also something visceral to them. American Werewolf in London is one of those films that has enough corny sensibility that it doesn't take itself too seriously while at the same time portraying some good horror tropes in emotionally evocative ways. You can watch this one for just good, classic, horror fun or you can pay a little more attention and see the personal horror of the main character, David, as he is confronted with the reality of being a monster. The first transformation scene is one of my all time favorites in werewolf cinema, as it is sudden, confusing, and ultimately horrifying for the character himself, even if modern audiences might get a chuckle or two out of the effects. The makeup and costuming are actually quite well crafted and it's worth noting while you watch that absolutely none of this was done with computers. What you see is painstaking time and attention spent on creating an illusion with actual, material, costuming and make up effects.
This is definitely a film worth keeping in your collection if you like horror. Maybe best avoided if you're not keen on blood and gore.