31 Days of Horror: #20 – The Company of Wolves
Your daily bitesized guide to the films you should be watching this Halloween season…
Directed by Neil Jordan
Written by Angela Carter and Neil Jordan, from the story by Angela Carter
Starring Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Stephen Rea & David Warner
The mother of all twisted fairytale horror. From the perversely wonderful mind of the late Angela Carter, The Company of Wolves is a powerful, sexually charged re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood. In taking such a classic tale and raising the horror element, it is able to tap into and draw out a childhood fear of one of the first monsters audiences were made to be scared of.
Bathed in autumnal lighting, the film does little to hide that it takes places on a set, adding to the unnerving sense of hyper-reality that is eerily blurred so often throughout. The compact trees and pokey huts also give the film an uncomfortably high and effective level of claustrophobia. The key werewolf transformation scene is a thing of terrifying beauty. The inhuman noises and growls are matched up to strikingly visceral and bloody special effects. Too often ignored in lists of great werewolf horror, its erotic allure brilliantly sets it far apart in quality.
A stunning cast is fronted by Sarah Patterson’s Rosaleen, whose sexual awakening and transformation into a woman is the central crux of a film layered with subtext and symbolism. Dark, brooding and disturbingly enchanting, an alternative Halloween delight.
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