DVD Review: The Howling Reborn (15) / Director: Joe Nimziki / Screenplay: Joe Nimziki / Starring: Landon Liboiron, Lindsey Shaw, Ivana Milicevic / Release Date: Out Now
Oh dear. If the previous sequels were not bad enough, The Howling has to put up with this (eighth!) direct to DVD flick.
Will Kidman (Landon Liboiron) is just about to graduate, having spent the last 18 years pretty much as a loner, with only a geeky horror film making friend Sachin (Jesse Rath) for company, and a slutty girl who hangs out with the bad boys, Eliana (Lindsay Shaw) for his fantasies. He draws her obsessively from afar.
His mother was killed before he was born, (in the opening sequence) and he was cut from her womb and left, while her body was never found. Quite amazing that he got to be 18 and have his oddly named friends at all then, eh?
Graduation is the least of his worries though as he is soon drawing the attention of the "pack" of bad boys, who seem to have taken a shine to him. Suddenly his life is changed, he no longer needs his glasses to see properly and the girl of his dreams is paying attention to him, especially after he kicks his ass in the bathroom. Although the bully then gets up and pulls a gun and attempts to chase Will down in a completely deserted school corridor. (I think the gun was only added for a convenient reason - watch and you will see)
Things get worse, however when his mother (Ivana Milicevic) turns up on the scene with the "pack" in tow, and reveals to Will his true destiny as a lycanthrope.
The Howling Reborn comes across like a cross between Twilight and Harry Potter, with none of the charm of either. It doesn't even have the likeable characters of MTV's Teen Wolf reboot, which while not being perfect, was at least watchable and didn't skimp on the gore.
The effects, when they finally come are OK in that you don't really get much of a chance to see the CGI flaws because they are shot so darkly and quick. It's obvious the makers have gone for the PG-13 (although it has been given a 15 in the UK) audience, rather than the more credible adult route of Ginger Snaps for example.
At the end of the day, it makes you want to go back and re-appraise Howling II as a classic (at least that had Christopher Lee and Sybil Danning pulling her top off again and again over the end credits). This is more like The Howling Stillborn.