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STUDIO: Anchor Bay
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes
• Commentary by director Joe Nimziki and actor Lindsey Shaw
• Making of
• Storyboard gallery
The Howling franchise gets its biggest blemish since Marsupials.
Written and directed by Joe Nimziki, starring Landon Liboiron, Lindsey Shaw, and Ivana Milicevic.
A young man on the verge of graduating high school is confronted by his libido and sexy wolves.
Related to the Howling franchise in name only, The Howling Reborn is a doofy attempt to cash in on the tween-draw of the Twilight films. This lazy tale of lycanthropes, written and directed by Joe Nimziki (whose only previous credit is an episode of the ’90s Outer Limits), is populated with marginally attractive teens who like to deliver hyper eloquent exhortations of bullshit in flinty voices while they dry hump. It’s the kind of flimsy teen-horror skidmark you’d expect to see on MTV, which makes its “Howling” title even more painful.
Will Kidman (see: shirtless Landon Liboiron below) is in his senior year at a private high school. Teetering on the verge of some stymieing life-changing events isn’t easy for anyone, and Will’s dilemma is made even more cumbersome by his unshakeable infatuation with doe-eyed cocktease Eliana (Lindsey Shaw). During an exclusive rave he attends with Eliana’s invitation, Will drops some ecstasy and is attacked by some large creature. Nothing on ecstasy is easy except dancing like a shithead, so Will and Eliana barely escape.
While all this is going on, Will’s dad is seduced by a mysterious blonde named Kathryn (Ivana Milicevic). Kathryn is only trying to get to Will because she wants him for her gang of hunky werewolves. She attempts to seduce Will into her gang, but Will is more interested in Eliana. He spits off a lot of mind-numbing drivel about free will and being in charge of your won destiny. If that sounds redundant that’s because ALL of the dialogue in the film is.
The final showdown between all of the hunky werewolves and Will happens on graduation night. As Will’s class dons their caps and gowns, Will and Eliana get butt-naked and release their beasts. The werewolf costumes are really decent looking. The traditional xtra-long snouts and ears from the original Howling are left intact. The fights are nice too – completely comprehensible and with a terrific sense of location. These rumbles don’t last long though and eventually creep into melodramatic territory.
The only other saving grace is Will’s zany sidekick Sachin (Jesse Rath). Sachin likes to film everything and is planning a obscenely idiotic prank for graduation night that will surely lead to him getting his diploma ripped in half by the dean. He provides as much comic relief as a root canal, but his presence is simply enough to ease all of the shallow teen romance taking place around him.
A shameless Twilight wannabee, The Howling Reborn makes Marsupials look like Godard. Bloated in its melodrama, the film leaves no time for those fun moments that make horror films entertaining to watch. It’s too busy taking itself too seriously, rolling around on the floor with no shirt on.
I hope this doesn’t lead to more “reboots” of classic horror franchises that are injected with Twilight cheese to cater to a broader, more shitty audience.
COMMENTARY: Nimziki sounds like the nicest guy who ever lived. I genuinely feel like an awful person for not liking his movie.
MAKING OF: Director Nimziki and the actors try to justify this sparkling turd. Nimziki explains how he wanted to make it a love story above anything else. He decided to center it around teens since they’re on the threshold of adulthood and having trouble controlling their animal nature. Like a werewolf, duh.
STORYBOARD COMMENTARY: Navigational storyboard – for true Howl Hards only!!!
Rating: Out of a Possible 5 Stars
Out of a Possible 5 Stars