The Horror Honeys: Stay on the Road. Keep Clear of the Moors...

Stay on the Road. Keep Clear of the Moors...

A Revenge Honey Hexmas Traditions Review by Linnie


An American Werewolf in London (1981)

"The undead surround me. Have you ever talked to a corpse? It's boring! I'm lonely! Kill yourself, David, before you kill others."

And now you know, my darling ghoulies! My favorite horror film of all time is not a revenge film, nor is it some crazy hipster underground snuff film. In fact, it may very well be a lot of other people's favorite horror movie as well. But I am 100% okay with that, because it's a beloved classic for a reason. My favorite horror film of all time in John Landis's An American Werewolf in London and it's not just a Hexmas tradition for me: it's also a, "It's Tuesday and I didn't get run over by bread a truck so I'm going to watch An American Werewolf in London" kind of tradition.

But since that's not much of a review in and of itself, I shall lay out the many reasons why this piece of 80s perfection has become my consummate Halloween film!

The Plot (if you don't already know it, however, shame): David and Jack are two young men on a backpacking trip through Europe. But on one ill-fated night, as they wander the English moors, the boys are attacked by a werewolf, leaving Jack dead and David wounded and carrying the werewolf's curse. Despite the attempts of a pretty young nurse named Alex, David may not be able to fight the werwolf's influence over him when the full moon rises. 

AWIL is the film that began my love-affair with movie makeup and all things monster related. If I had even an ounce of artistic talent, I would have gone into the special effects industry after seeing Rick Baker's amazing work on this movie.  The werewolf transformation scene in AWIL has become the gold standard, and even almost 25 years later, no other film has come close to eclipsing Baker's mind-boggling practical effects. But even the make-up work on Jack and David's victims is loving and flawless. If you ever find yourself wearied by the state of affairs in current movie CGI, this is the film to turn to, to remind you of a better time.



It also helps that the cast of An American Werewolf in London is absolute perfection. David Naughton, as David, is charming, funny, and ideally portrays both the fear of a man transforming and the true pain one would feel as their body rips apart and becomes something entirely new. Griffin Dunne is hilarious and sad as Jack, a man trapped between two worlds but still afraid for his friend's future. And to this day, I squeee when I see Jenny Agutter in anything (she's become a cameo mainstay in the Marvel film universe). Her final girl-esque role as Alex is unbeatable, in that she is strong, independent, brave, and doesn't even flinch in the face of danger. I compare EVERY final girl to her, and almost all come up wanting.

Additionally, if you don't think that the soundtrack to AWIL is perfection, I don't think I can talk to you anymore. A collection of "moon" themed songs, from Van Morrison's "Moondance" to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon on the Rise," every song choice is obvious and yet, perfect. Even when an overly poppy song soundtracks a bummer of a moment, it's conveying the Landis aesthetic that is so iconic. I never tire of a single element of this film, from the soundtrack to the brilliant script.

So yes, An American Werewolf in London is my go-to Hexmas film, as I'm sure it is for a lot of you as well! This Halloween, join me in a viewing of my favorite horror film of all time. And if you happen to live in the UK, remember... stay away from the moors, kiddies!

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 Slaughtered Lambs out of 5