A nice change from the usual supernatural beings vs. supernatural beings storyline, THE HOWLING REBORN focuses upon just one member of the group. I think out of all them, I might choose to become a werewolf if I were given a choice. Sure, vampires and monsters are cool but do you really want to live forever and drink nothing but blood all the time? With werewolves, you still get the super strength, fast healing powers and for some reason they always look like they’ve spent an eternity in the gym. You still get to eat regular food and see the sun from time to time. Yeah, I think I’ll take that one. Joe Nimziki’s film about the creatures is unrelated to any of the other HOWLING chapters, and there are plenty, but it is actually based upon the novel, THE HOWLING II by Gary Bradner.
The plot is fairly easy to follow. A woman artist, Catherine (Ivana Milicevic), is unexpectedly attacked by an unseen assailant while she is pregnant. 18 years later, guess what? We are introduced to our main character, Will (Landon Liboiron), who lives with his single father and is on the horizon of graduating the lovely prison some of us call high school. Of course there is a beautiful girl, Eliana (Lindsey Shaw), he has been obsessing over for the past four years but has never had the guts to even say hi. He has some choice run-ins with her Abercrombie & Fitch boyfriend that leave him a little scratched and bruised. On the day of graduation he begins to feel a little strange and notices his body is going through some changes that he can’t credit to puberty anymore. Throughout the day, he faces many encounters as his mysterious past origins are finally explained and he takes a chance on life and love with the girl of his dreams.
With the basic storyline and decent special effects, THE HOWLING REBORN adds another entertaining installment into Lycanthrope history. The film itself does a little bit more explaining of the rules of being an actual werewolf than it does of actually showing them but when they do appear on screen, they do not disappoint. The fight scenes are brief but effective. It brings to light the struggle between being a monster and trying to hold onto their human side that some movies do not. It seemed to use this factor as some sort of metaphor for the feeling of freedom and sheer fright of entering the real world after graduating high school. Both are major coming of age events, well if werewolves were real anyway.
Some of the acting felt a bit drawn out and made certain portions of the film feel too slow and dragging but overall the actors did a decent job in capturing what they were supposed to: being a werewolf and those afraid of them. The ending suggests there’s an opening for another film but then again almost every movie about supernatural creatures do. Nimziki said that he would be open to revisiting the story and brining us another part but only time will tell. I give THE HOWLING REBORN “2.5 growing pains of realizing you’re a werewolf out of 5”.
“People used to ask God the questions they didn’t have the answers to. Now everyone goes to Wikipedia.”