The Howling: Reborn (2011) – Review

3 Stars


A stylish tongue-in-cheek horror film set at a high school in the middle of suburban America. This straight to DVD release is one of the more polished in recent memory. Landon Liboiron plays Will Kidman, a nerdy senior who poses a serious threat to the existence of a pack of werewolf classmates. When the appearance of a rare blue moon is spotted the animals are unleashed. At the midway point the movie itself transforms into a Die Hard-esque action extravaganza with Will and his female classmate locked inside this (futuristic as depicted) school.

The screenplay based on the second novel from The Howling author Gary Brander is full of in-jokes for film buffs and hip humor.The Howling: Reborn has a storyline similar to The Lost Boys and a humorous self deprecating script by director Joe Nimziki and his cowriter James Robert Johnson. This includes homages and references to an eclectic group of films ranging from Spiderman to John Carpenter’s The Thing, and also including genre hits Wolf and of course the Twilight series.

Liboiron, a Daniel Radcliffe lookalike handles the lead well. His transformation from dork to masculine creature is done nicely and with ample doses of wit. The beautiful Ivana Milicevic is appropriately cast as the sexually forward omega of the pack. Her smile seems more like a threat than an invitation to advance. The scenes between the two are played with uneasy sexual tension considering it’s a mother-son relationship.

Theatrical level production values, clever script and a refreshing cast of unknowns capable of handling the delicate tonal balance of the film makes it reminiscent of the Scream films. Director Joe Nimziki moves the film along with style and a sharp sense of humor. One of the best films of its kind that I’ve seen all year.

Director: Joe Nimziki
Stars: Lindsey Shaw, Landon Liboiron, Ivana Milicevic

2 thoughts on “The Howling: Reborn (2011) – Review

  1. I was a big fan of the original Howling. Many sequels followed and, from what I’ve seen, they all deviated from the original concept and fell far short of anything worth watching. I’m glad to see that perhaps this direct-to-DVD film might be worth a look.

    I have always believed that the long list of sequels to the original Howling were low-budget films that used the “Howling” name to gain attention. Other than sharing the same title, most of the sequels had nothing to do with the original film.

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