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Film / Howl

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Howl is a 2015 horror film starring Ed Speleers. The film was released on October 16.

The film centers around a train that becomes stranded in a forested part of the English countryside. Cut off from the rest of the world, the passengers are forced to band together to survive when they come under attack by a group of vicious werewolves.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Sean Pertwee was the sergeant in Dog Soldiers, another English werewolf movie. Ironically, the werewolves in that movie share a few superficial similarities to the ones here.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Joe's fate.
  • Asshole Victim: Adrian, who abandons the rest of the group to die, is killed himself by Joe, who had turned into a werewolf.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The werewolves succeed in killing the passengers and turning Joe into one of them.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Adrian at first seems like a flirtatious gentleman and the Only Sane Man of the group, but as the night goes on, his mask gradually slips, revealing the cowardly, smug Jerkass he really is.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Ellen survives and makes it back to civilization, but all of the other passengers are either dead or transformed into werewolves.
  • Dead Star Walking: Sean Pertwee is the first victim of the werewolves.
  • Dirty Coward: Adrian, to the point that he deliberately sabotages the group's attempts to escape so that the werewolves will kill them and give himself a chance to escape.
  • Eye Scream: As one of the many injuries inflicted on him as the group defends themselves once he breaks in, Scar gets stabbed in the eye with a metal bar.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Nina is pulled through a window by Scar and seemingly torn apart and killed on the roof of the train outside. However, when Billy and Matthew attempt to repair the train's fuel lines outside, Matthew hears Nina's voice crying out in the woods and wanders off to investigate. He finds her half-eaten still alive body in a tree being devoured by one of the werewolves. Even worse, her eyes are golden in much the same way as the werewolves in this scene, hinting she was undergoing the metamorphosis into a werewolf whilst they were eating her alive.
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  • Hate Sink: Adrian seemingly exists for the sole purpose of giving the audience someone to root against. He cheats on his wife, considers killing Jenny before finding out that the creatures outside are werewolves just because she was wounded, kicks Kate out the door when she's caught by werewolves and very well could have saved her, and finally leaves Joe and Ellen to die a violent death while he makes his escape into the woods.
  • Hope Spot: The group manages to kill the werewolf that is picking them off and then manage to repair the train... and then the rest of the pack arrives.
  • Incorrect Animal Noise: For some reason, some of the werewolves have the distinctive "yip-yip-auooo!" cry of a coyote.
  • It Can Think: The werewolves seem to have aspects of human-like intelligence still in them. Notably, Scar, the lead werewolf, makes sure to sabotage the train's radio from the outside after his first attack on the passengers. They also seem to take some form of pleasure in hunting the passengers, as Scar deliberately scrapes his claws along the side of the exterior of the train carriage for no other reason than to intimidate and frighten the passengers. When Jenny turns, she tears out her husband's throat and then leers menacingly over Adrian with a smile on her fanged face. The werewolves at the end of the film also seem to consciously make a choice to turn Joe into a werewolf, rather than tear him apart and eat him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As much of an amoral bastard as he was, Adrian was completely right that Jenny was infected by her bite wound and would eventually turn into a werewolf herself and try to kill them. Her first victim ends up being her own husband, Ged.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Once he breaks in, the passengers gang up on Scar, the lead werewolf and beat him to death.
  • Not Quite Dead: After taking several ax strikes to the chest, Scar turns out to have just enough life in him to rise back up and give one final howl, alerting the rest of the pack to the train's location. Joe smashes his face to a bloody pulp with a fire extinguisher to put him down for good.
  • Large and in Charge: Scar, the leader of the werewolf pack is distinctly bigger and more muscular in build than the rest of the werewolves in the film. Once he's dead the remaining three werewolves have amongst their number one notable female werewolf who seems to have superiority over the other two.
  • Noisy Nature: Among the sounds made by the werewolves is the distinctive "yip-yip-auooo!" of a coyote. Judging by their cries, alone, they'd almost make more sense as were-coyotes rather than werewolves ... if not that the film is set in Great Britain.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Averted. Scar in particular seems to be having a lot of fun scaring and picking off the passengers one at a time.
  • One-Word Title
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The werewolves in this film have a more human-like appearance that most portrayals, with the major wolf-traits present in their anatomy being their golden eyes, pointed ears, jagged teeth, claws and triple-jointed legs. Otherwise, they still possess distinctly human features including being largely hairless. Jenny even flat-out states that the lead werewolf who attacked her looked more like a man, than an animal. They also do infect people with lycanthropy through a bite, as per the norm, however the condition is treated more akin to a viral mutation. They don't require the full moon to transform and once they do turn, they stay werewolves permanently (the final scene of the film takes place in the morning daylight). They also seem to still possess certain aspects of human intelligence, and whilst they do howl and snarl like wolves, they also are heard making not entirely inhuman grunts and vocalisations.
  • Sole Survivor: Ellen is the only one to escape. Everyone else is either killed or transformed into a werewolf.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The werewolves have these.
  • Was Once a Man: After Scar breaks in and the group kills him in self-defence, they look over his body. After coming to terms with Matthew's statement that what they are looking at, is the body of a werewolf, they notice that he is still wearing a ring, concluding he used to be an ordinary person.
  • Wild Hair: Many of the werewolves have a long mane of hair.
  • Zombie Infectee: Jenny, who is bitten by Scar during his initial attack, and then spends the rest of the film deliriously exhibiting signs of changing into a werewolf herself, with the group at one point coming to a confrontation on whether to kill her before she turns. She eventually does change, and kills her husband Ged once she does so.

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