The following pages analyze 88 horror films grouped in 14 franchises. These franchises feature an antagonist, or villain, who has been present in all or most films. These antagonists are so iconic that they have, in all cases, generated multiple sequels. All movies contained in this book are rated, ranked and compared to each other.
No ordinary wolf!
It starts in a tavern where we meet a beggar who gets bullied by patrons. The beggar later ends up among men of wealth who also ridicule him. We’re led to believe he is the werewolf referred to in the title. So far, so good. The first act is quite uplifting. This being a Hammer production, you’re guaranteed lavish photography, costumes, and set design. As you can imagine, there’ll also be filler.
Now, this was inspired by a novel and it takes useless tangents, like that baptism, or these long-winded conversations about exorcism that seem like pretexts to show just how gorgeous the backdrops are. On that note, we keep seeing the same sets: the castle, the prison, the church, the gate, and the tavern. It gives the movie a theatrical quality, typical of Hammer films.
Don’t expect great werewolf make-up. Expect good build-up and a few surprises. It’s interesting to note that there isn’t a definitive protagonist, not for a while, at least. Consequently, there’s no one to root for. The film’s biggest weakness is that it doesn’t show the monster for more than a few seconds sporadically. It’s 1961. Isn’t it about time we stop postponing the good stuff?