Howl (2015)

An hour and a half of my life gone, just like that. I suppose I should've known better whenever I realized that this was a British horror movie, but I was again relying on IMDB aggregate scores of at least better than 5.0, and I'm starting to rethink that idea. So, I wound up with a bunch of people trapped in a train with some big bad outside that I think only the people who were in the movie didn't know what was supposed to be a werewolf. I don't know if I was supposed to know or not, but you call the movie Howl, and I'm just gonna know.

I think I've commented before that I'm starting to fear the possibility that I just can't get scared at the scary movie anymore. The problem has to be with me, doesn't it? Yes, I like the dark and foreboding, primal fear from The Babadook, but that's not really the same thing that this kind of movie is going for, is it? I mean, this is a creature movie - where is that movie really wasn't. Maybe it's just creature movies that I'm not scared of any more.

The story is pretty basic; we get Ed Speleers as our hero who works on a train collecting tickets. He's a mild-mannered guy who apparently takes a lot of abuse from the passengers for no particular reason. It didn't really make any sense while I was watching the scene that everyone would have this low level malevolence toward Ed from the get-go. If you ride a train, you get a ticket. If someone comes around asking to look at tickets, you show your ticket. It doesn't seem all that hard to understand, and it doesn't make the person asking to see the tickets evil. The reason there was so much resentment was never explained.

I'm not to go into the list of actors in this movie. I can skate by with caricatures, just like the writers did. You have your damsel in distress, your person prone to acting without thinking, your followers, your old people who need help, your victims who will die first, and a whole bunch of stereotypes. Actually, now that I come to think of it, they were missing the token black person – and that doesn't seem right.

So, the train breaks down the middle of nowhere, the train conductor mysteriously vanishes, and our hero has to deal with this wild and crazy group of characters who are all panicking. He of course does not know what to do, but he has to pretend that he does, as he's the official spokesperson for the railway company at this point. That's when the people overrule him and decide to leave. One infected person later, they all run back screaming to the train. And now, we play the waiting game. Will help arrive from the railway company? Will an evil creature managed to get through the very thin windows?

Our Hero - Discount British Mentalist
This movie reminds me of Last Passenger. That was another British movie on a train. The train stopped in the middle of nowhere, and the people had to deal with each other as well as some terrible outside force. The difference is that movie didn't have an actual creature - it was supposed to be more psychological. Before you tell me that this creature was supposed to be a metaphor anyway, I get that. I just don't like it.

Acting was okay for the most part
Dialogue was very weak
Story was cut-and-paste
Direction was meh
Cinematography was not great.

Bottom Line: There are better ways to kill 11 people on a train or an evening watching movies.



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