Reinforced with stunning photography and featuring characters immersed in a carnival context, the sixth Howling movie sets a refreshing tone, which was urging at this point. The franchise was sometimes bleak and this one is livelier than most sequels have been. The cast is generally younger, too. It’s sexy, still orchestrated around a werewolf cult but creepy for eccentric reasons.
The actors are given a traditionally melodramatic script that they make the best of. It is a romantic supernatural thriller, as it’s always been, and it’s slow. This is a vague, alternate adaptation of a series of novels and is meant as a “what if” spin-off for werewolf aficionados and not necessarily every horror fan. In doing so, the film chooses to be more fantastic than visceral and gory.
There is nothing mind-blowing about the transformation scenes in Howling 6, but they still manage to occasionally creep out. The effects are nothing crazy; sometimes clouded by fog and darkness in order to avoid revealing an obviously bad creature design. This sequel does things better than the previous ones, but it is no more than decent, in the end. It simply sets the bar too low to stand out.