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  • Teknofobe701 May 2005
    Okay here's a great premise -- what would The Howling have been like if it was made by somebody without the talent or good sense of Joe Dante? Well, thanks to the fourth of the dire sequels, now we know. It would have sucked.

    There are two good things I can say about this movie. First, it serves as a lesson about how not to adapt a book to the screen. Second, it shows how much of a great film The Howling is, simply by comparison. As it's another version of the same novel, you already pretty much know the plot ... a disturbed woman goes to a retreat of some kind in order to set her mind straight, and decides to investigate a mysterious howling in the woods. The only positive thing I'll say about the adaptation is that it retains the strong religious element from the book, which was neglected in the Joe Dante version. This movie is apparently a lot closer to Gary Brandner's novel, but it lacks any of the flavour, metaphor or subtext.

    First off, you don't care about the characters. Secondly, it just isn't scary. Director John Hough may manage to stay faithful to the book like some kind of a literary parrot, but apparently he hasn't heard of those things we call mood or pace or style ... in no way does this feel like a horror movie (it features the most un-frightening ghosts I've ever seen in a film). It's not even a particularly well-made film, and I noticed several errors in continuity. The acting isn't great, as all of the cast seem to belong on a soap opera, but by no means is that the worst thing about the movie. Also, for some odd reason all the dialogue is dubbed. Badly. And there's no excuse for it ... it just distracts you from the rest of the scene (or perhaps that was the intention). The special effects are actually very good, but unfortunately you don't see any of them until the last ten minutes of the movie when they're all thrown together in a hectic mish-mash.

    Why do we need this movie? It sure beats me. There's absolutely no reason to watch it, unless you're curious about the original novel but can't be bothered to read it. Joe Dante's The Howling is superior in every single way.
  • It is called the original nightmare because this is an update remake of the first Howling movie. In both movies, a husband and wife retreat to a small town that turns out to be full of werewolves. I like this update, this is definitely a breath of fresh air to the series. Special effects weren't terrible and I loved the the different ideas of how people change into a werewolf. One melts into a puddle of goo in a gruesome scene when he is walking in the woods and drops to the ground and begins to literally melt and then comes back together as a werewolf. Well done scene Tom Savini worthy. There is another man that rips the skin off of his jaw and it grows and he turns into a werewolf. Alot of memorable scenes in this movie makes this a standout movie in the werewolf horror genre and is definitely one of the best movies out of the series.
  • Gives new meaning to the term "low budget movie!" Obviously someone decided, "Hey lets re-make the original HOWLING and get the series back on track?" Yeah well, you need a Director, actors and a script for that. When your budget runs to barely a week's supply of Big Macs this might be aiming a tad high!

    This is one god-awful cheap-looking crappily acted mess with the most unsustainably fake and illogical werewolf transformation in history. Having the victim regress to a pile of glutinous mush then (quick reversal of film) reconstitute himself as a lycanthropic tease with major orthodontic problems? Huh???? not to mention the hour or so everyone's been yawning, wondering where the film actually is!

    They even had the temerity to rip off the original's finale...herding all the K-mart inspired werewolves into a belltower for a spot of the old mass-destruction! Not that you can actually SEE anything!

    For reasons of international "co-operation" shall we say, this abysmal flick was shot in South Africa with the majority of the cast being locals, needing to be dubbed into Anericanese during post-production. It shows!
  • Of 'The Howling' franchise, the best of the films will always be the first by some considerable distance. While not perfect, it's the only one classed by me as good, still having a lot of wit and atmosphere with amazing effects. Don't consider the numerous sequels (seen as part of a franchise completest quest) completely disposable, but all of them have major problems and are nowhere near close to being as good, suffering primarily from looking cheap, poorly written and acted and either being far too silly from taking the camp to extremes or being too serious.

    Didn't care at all for the previous two sequels, which suffered from all the above problems bar the being too serious one, the excessive campiness and cheapness indicating films made by people who had completely forgotten seemingly what was good about 'The Howling'. It is hard to say whether 'Howling IV' is better or worse than the previous two instalments, in my mind they are as very bad as each other in their own way. Sure 'Howling IV' is one of the more faithful 'Howling' films to the source material, as has been mentioned frequently here, and it does try to take itself more seriously compared to the previous two sequels with the daftness and campiness being nowhere near as strong.

    Sadly, all of this should have made 'Howling IV' a superior film but it is an instance of being more faithful not being a good thing. Have actually found this a lot in the past, when a re-make or another version of a book etc. is made that is more faithful in some way but in translation loses what made the previous version(s) so memorable on its own terms or doesn't have the same amount of impact. That was one of 'Howling IV's' biggest issues, it completely lacks the wit and atmosphere of 'The Howling' and has the opposite problem of the previous two sequels of being completely bland and taking itself too seriously. For most of the film, there is absolutely no tension or suspense and what little there is of the story is meandering, contrived and with nothing to it. On top of the first quarter of an hour being rather rushed, on the most part 'Howling IV' takes far too long to get going with interminably sloggy pacing, often uneventful stoytelling and too much emphasis on very talky and utterly uninteresting melodrama passing for dialogue and drama.

    The acting from a largely unknown cast is better not going into too much detail because there isn't really much acting going on to warrant talking about. Not one redeeming cast member and they are all as bad as each other that giving an award for who fared worst of all would be hard. 'Howling IV' on the most part looks cheap, with editing that really lacks flow and feels slapped together while the camera work is chaotic and the lighting dreary. Most of the effects are slapdash at best and they and any gore are used gratuitously, despite being present much less than in the previous two films. The werewolves are criminally underused and are not scary at all while the direction has no character, style or pace.

    What does redeem 'Howling IV' a little are a few things. It does pick up a little in the last twenty minutes, where there is a little fun and well-timed genuine shocks (too far and between) that come far too late. A few of the effects are decent and a little credit is due for them not being overused or being as bad-looking as in 'Howling II' and 'III'.

    Likewise with the music, which is a lot less intrusive or inappropriately cheap here with a nice enough main theme that doesn't grate.

    So all in all, a mess and far from terrifying but with a few merits. 3/10 Bethany Cox
  • The successful author Marie Adams is haunted by nightmares. In order to recover, she travels to the countryside with her husband Richard. At night, she hears the howling of wild animals. Together with the former nun Janice she tries to uncover the mystery. Does that sound familiar? You bet it does. "Howling IV" is the forth entry in the "Howling" series and basically a rehash of the original "The Howling" from 1981. They most certainly wanted to distance themselves from the two trash escapades that were Part II and III. That was probably a good idea. Unfortunately, the result is a veritable snoozefest.

    Bless them, they were trying their best to give the story some kind of class. But it's just plain boring. The movie spends a whole hour to mystifying the fact that we are dealing with werewolfs here. We already know that, guys! It's the fourth movie, there's no need to be so secretive about it. The production is riddled with shortcomings. The editing is unbelievably sloppy and the sound is inconsistent. The script is slow and predictable. The special effects at the end of the movie are alright, and the obligatory transformation scene is pretty cool. But at this point, why should we even care?

    "Howling IV" is a truly mystifying movie. There's just no good reason for this remake to exist. It's worse than the original in every single way, and the original wasn't that great in the first place. A lycanthropic sleeping pill – ingest at your own risk.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Joe Dante's The Howling is a classic Werewolf movie with some good effects and I loved it but it wasn't close to the novel and they even said so. It's still a good film. So when Clive Turner decided to do a third Howling sequel he decided to make it closer to the novel which was fine.

    Howling IV is about a writer named Marie who after having a metal breakdown goes to a town called Drago with her husband Richard. Once there Marie begins to hear howling noises from outside, her husband think's she's making it all up due to her breakdown and the townsfolk are not too concerned about the noises. Soon an ex-nun arrives and tells Marie about a friend of her's that was attacked in Drago and Marie has seen her in her mind. The two soon go off searching for info about the town's history.

    Her husband soon catches an eye on the art owner who resembles a similar look to Marsha from The Howling. After meeting her again in the woods she changes into a Werewolf and bites. After telling Marie it was a wolf that attacked him the next day he tells her he fell and scratched is shoulder.

    Soon her nun friend discovers that the town people are Werewolves and hurries to warn Marie, meanwhile Marie's publisher Tom also tries to warn Marie but sees Richard in the road thriving in pain. He tries to help him only to get killed by a Werewolf in the bushes. It's not long before Marie and the ex-nun hide in the bell tower where Marie must wait outside while she summons the Werewolves with the bell.

    Doing so Marie has no choice but to burn the tower with her friend, and after looking at the burnt body of her husband a Werewolf jumps out at her.

    Although I haven't read the novels reading the reviews and seeing the film gives me a clue what the novel is like. Howling IV isn't a bad film, the transformation is kind of good and the Werewolf in the tower isn't that bad. The one thing is that the Werewolves don't show themselves until the final twenty minutes of the movie but I wasn't that bothered. I enjoyed the film.

    I also love that theme song "Something evil, something dangerous"
  • Gary Brandner wrote The Howling trilogy. Seven The Howling

    movies were made from these books. Even though this movie

    may seem like a remake of the original, it is actually the one movie

    closest to the first book. When seen from this perspective it's a

    pretty good movie. Plus you get to see Michael T. Weiss (of TV's

    Pretender fame) with a mullet! What more can you ask for from a horror movie with the number 4

    after it?
  • I've seen many sequels of the original Howling (can't keep track how many actually) but this had my mouth drop wide open right after the first few minutes of it. The concept is almost exactly the same as in the first installment but this one sticks quite firmly to the original book. But it's pretty much like watching the first movie remade by bunch of talentless amateurs (probably even retarded ones).

    The acting is worse than i've ever seen before. And to stay awake through the whole movie you should not have seen the first because it kinda gives EVERYTHING away. Bad camera work, bad screenplay with cheesy lines with every possible clichés in it. And on top of all this: Extra low budget. Low budget doesn't mean the movie automatically sucks. It's not worth making a movie with very little money unless you're clever and creative. These guys were not.

    Usually this kind of super-sucking low budget b-movies make you laugh and deserve some credit as "Hilarious and good bad-b-movies". But no, this one doesn't and i cannot recommend it to anyone, not even the howling fans.

    One star for cool latex-gore effects in the end.
  • The writing makes it painfully obvious what characters are good, evil, or just naive. You would have to be pretty thick to be surprised by any of the plot twists thrown your way. All the canned dialogue comes from the worst movies we've groaned at in the past. Special FX kick in towards the end, but end all too abruptly as does the film.

    If we've got to have a Howling movie so similar (plot-wise) to the first one, could we at least have it improve on the original in just one way? Apparently not.
  • utgard1427 December 2013
    Writer Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is having strange visions. Marie's husband Richard (Michael T. Weiss) takes her to a cottage in the small town of Drago to relax and rest. The visions continue, however, and Marie eventually finds that the town of Drago is full of werewolves. The plot to this film is a reworking of the original Howling. Actually, it's a more faithful adaptation of the original novel in many respects. It also sucks big time. It's all very drab and tedious. Obviously the movie has fans. My sister is one of them. Growing up she actually preferred this film to the original Howling! Windsor and Weiss are fine, I guess, but it's all so dull. See the original or even the hilarious part 2 instead.
  • First and foremost: how can "part 4" of anything be an "original"? This is actually closer to the book that Gary Brandner wrote that was the basis for the first movie, but being close to the book doesn't make this movie any good.

    A real sleeping pill about a woman recovering from a trauma, sent to a wilderness retreat, finding that nearly everyone there is a werewolf. Nothing happens in this entire movie, just a lot of yawning from the audience. As with several other films in this series, good on-location photography (this time in South Africa) can't redeem an otherwise unwatchable flick.

    This looks like it could have been a TV movie. And a terrible one, at that.

    1/2 a star out of ****
  • culwin27 May 2002
    Howling IV starts out decent enough, but by the end of the film it degrades to something less than average. The main problem with this movie is its very slow pace. Those looking for action-packed werewolf sequences will not find it here. In fact, you don't even see a werewolf until almost the end of the movie. This could have been excusable, if there was enough suspense to make the viewer want to keep watching until the end. Unfortunately, the audience's suspense is replaced with impatience. I kept looking at the clock, wondering when a werewolf would actually show up. When the werewolves finally do make their grand entrance, it is disappointing. They consist of: A) dogs with red eyes and B) actors in cheesy masks. And the transformation sequence of a human into a werewolf - something the original Howling was famous for - is bizarre and goofy in this movie. Recommendation: see it for free on TV if nothing else is on, but don't bother renting.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I got this movie in a 8 movie package. The first movie The Prophecy with Christopher Walken was horrible. This movie Barfing IV is worse.

    Here's the problem: The story sucks. Apparently this is closer to the book than the first Howling. I saw the first movie many years ago, and don't remember it as being this horrible. The script, the dialogue, the stupid non-important, non-consequential scenes. It's so incredibly boring. The acting is horrible all around. You could tell Romy Windsor, the main female actress is trying. But trying does not mean you should be in front of the camera. Maybe as a model. Not as an actress. All the rest of the cast sucks completely. The worst actor here is the husband. Again, he is no actor. Maybe as a clothing model. This guy has zero acting talent. The wife's boyfriend. He was slightly better than the husband, but what the hell was his story line in the movie. The former nun, acting is whatever. How does she go from being a nun to a civilian and all of a sudden she has a car, fancy clothes and can stay in hotels? Where did she get the money for all that?

    This movie is consistently bad all around. The camera work sucks. The editing is whatever. Best part is when that couple gets killed by the water halfway through the movie. And guess what, they screw that up too with some completely inappropriate music. I mean this thing has to be seen to be believed.

    There are scenes where the husband and wife are in the cabin talking about some stupidity. The camera angle is like, OK, we got the shot, roll the film. Nothing special going on. Conversation is not moving the film forward.

    We don't get to see any wherewolfs, or wolfmen, or whatever the hell they are until the last 10 minutes. The worst transformation scene ever! Worst, and ugliest costumes and that includes the human wardrobe. Take a look at that double button down vest on the doctor. This is one stupid and ugly movie. Sets suck, take a look at that town and the cabin. Crappy music, crappy dialogue, crappy non acting, no chemistry, no packing, no atmosphere, no surprises, no nothing.

    If you can bare to watch this it would be a test in discipline and endurance. It took me two sittings.

    I have read most of the user reviews and some of the critic reviews. And You Call Yourself a Scientist! critic reviews was most entertaining to read as they give a very good account of this mess of a movie. There should be a book written about this movie. Screen for screen description of how not to make a movie, and what is wrong with each scene, and an overall serious takedown of the screenplay and the movie overall. Now, that would be entertaining. Then they should produce a remix of this movie with 50's TV laugh tracks. Then we are in the realm of full blown entertainment.

    As it stands, this thing is garbage. No value at all. It is not so bad it's good. It is not so bad it's bad. It is so bad, you fall asleep. I still believe Suspiria is the worst movie ever, simply because a lot of people actually love it. Which is inconceivable. But, there is room at the bottom for Howling IV.

    Complete Failure! F, 1 star. One thing it does do, it elevates other crappy movies like Star Wars Force Awakens to entertainment level.
  • The only flaw I want to emphasize is that the early scenes in this film, much like the opening credits, are too quick to be effective. This one (however) is more faithful to the novel than the original, and once you get past the first 15 minutes, it doesn't seem so rushed. Romy Windsor plays the vision-bound, introverted, semi-tolerated Marie. Neither Marie, nor her husband Richard, nor their friend Tom, believe in werewolves. Janice, an ex-nun, is the only one considering a werewolf-existence possibility. Marie/Richard met her in Drago, and Janice's belief in demons is probably what paved the way for her werewolf suspicions. Along the way, some peeps have vanished, including a hitch-hiking couple and the long-dead sister Ruth. When Marie discovers that the sheriff covered-up the disappearance of the pleasant hitch-hiking couple, or attempted to do so, tempers flare. There's more than one way to skin a wolf (or cover it's tracks), and it isn't by lying to red-riding hood. You can't run a successful werewolf business without breaking a few nuns, as it turns out. The lethargic and apathetic sheriff would probably agree. The main complaint here is the scarce on-screen werewolf time. But in my opinion, this is redeemed by acceptable performances, just enough atmosphere, and a classic 80's score.
  • thesar-227 October 2019
    So, I scheduled both Howling III and Howling IV: The Original Nightmare for my 2019 Halloween Lineup thinking it'd be cool to revisit these films I hadn't seen since a kid 30 years prior.

    Big mistake. Huge waste of time. These movies shouldn't be seen by anyone. Granted this semi-remake of #1 is better than III, it's still trash and only 1/100th of the quality of the original nightmare - still my favorite werewolf movie ever made.

    Skip this entirely. In fact, JUST SEE HOWLING 1 and no others.
  • epalejandrocarrillo13 October 2019
    Marie Adams is an author that has visions of dead people (sounds familiar) and heads to the country to relax in a cabin (sounds really familiar). A scooby doo mystery begins when a former nun shows up to find a missing nun that is apparently in Marie's visions (well isn't that convenient). The only real fun happens in the last ten minutes of the movie with good and terrible werewolf effects stand side by side. It's true the end of a movie really makes a difference. I was laughing and cheering. Worth the wait.
  • Now, this fourth movie in the "Howling" franchise is a step back in the wrong direction. You'd think that by 1988, which was seven years after the first "The Howling" movie, that moviemakers would deviate from the lets-hide-the-creature-in-the-dark-and-keep-the-audience-in-suspense formula. But no, it was still being used. And this was four movies into the franchise, where the audience are quite well aware of this being a werewolf. Come on....

    The storyline told in "Howling IV: The Original Nightmare" was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. It didn't offer any surprises, nor did directors John Hough and Clive Turner lead the audience on any particular thrilling ride. The movie felt to be running on auto-pilot, and that was dragging the movie down past the mediocre limit. And the storyline also suffered from being way too generic and predictable.

    The only familiar face among the actors in "Howling IV: The Original Nightmare", at least to me, was Michael T. Weiss (playing Richard). But I will say, taking the script and the characters into consideration, then the actors and actresses were actually doing fair enough jobs. They were just hindered by an improper script and underdeveloped characters.

    I sat through the entire movie, but I must admit that my interest was dwindling away rapidly after the halfway marker. The movie was just lacking appeal and didn't really have that unique feel to it that the 1981 "The Howling" had. And I doubt I will be returning to "Howling IV: The Original Nightmare" for a second viewing.
  • Flooopdoodle15 April 2018
    Dreadful, and not in the good way. This is like watching a porn movie without the porn. The acting is terrible, the plot is stupid, and the movie made me want to hurt myself.
  • Imagine you have to make a fourth Howling movie. Imagine that werewolves, their sisters and marsupials are all off limits. What do you do? If your answer is to go back to the novels, and make the first movie again but much more authentically, then I would say this is some kind of shitty internet ready remake that would suck all the life out of the film. Instead it's that but without the internet component and icky fan service.

    What you get instead is an incredibly boring movie. It's so slow. Nothing happens. There's no budget, fine, but why also must there be no fun? Lackadaisical la-de-da storytelling. My lord. At least the last two went for it. It's not terrible, but man have some imagination here. It's The Howling 4 for crying out loud.
  • This film is terrible. I got more entertainment out of parts 2 and 3 - at least they were comical - this one is just flat out boring. I give them credit for trying to create a serious, non campy, werewolf flick but why so boring, so drab? I saw this one years ago and I couldn't recall anything about it, tried watching it again recently and now I know why the film didn't stand out in my mind - it's just bad.

    The lead male looks like David Copperfield's long lost illegitimate son. The lead female is rather bland - but then again so is the rest of the cast.

    I think I'll just leave this one in the past where it belongs. Not worth finishing the movie - leave it as a distant, fading memory.

  • derk-rijks3 April 2004

    This movie is, without a doubt, one of the WORST I have ever seen.

    After watching "gems" like House V, Hide and go Schriek or Berserker, I thought it could not get any worse, but it did.

    First (and most important of all) this movie is so S-L-O-W, nothing happens in the first 60-70 minutes, except for a anxious woman hearing sounds, and her husband cheating her with the local grocery ho.

    And then after a long and sleepy hour, at last some werewolves appear (hello are you still awake, it took me a lot of coffee to achieve that) and then there is some action.

    This movie is such a utterly waste of time and money, that I wonder what idiot invested money in this atrocious product, that person was not sober, I'm sure.

    In other words, this movie is a wothless piece of junk, and I'm surprised that it doesn't rank among the 100 worst movies on this site, allthough I cannot believe there are enough crazy people who watched this miss-product.

    Howling IV sure was a nightmare, in the negative sense of the word, and I warn everyone, do not spend your time or money on this one!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    More serious and slower than the previous ones. There are some cool make-up effects, and it resembles the 1st movie. Yet, it's just another weak sequel.
  • RosanaBotafogo1 February 2021
    I liked it, the werewolf appears less, maybe that is the strong point, because the effects were not so pleasant, but the melt was mass, very gooey and disgusting, lovely, the plot is good, simple, cliché, but efficient, couple will live inside, mysterious people, couples who disappear, haunts that appear and disappear, nuns (the franchise likes nuns), frightened and discredited people...
  • I thought this was the worst of the series until I saw part 7.

    There's not much to recommend here. Some of the special effects at the very end (last 5 minutes) are kind of cool... I got nothing (shrugs).

    I gave this 2 starts to distinguish it from part 7 which got 1 star for nearly killing my brain. I was on life support for 6 months after watching that film, and they nearly pulled the plug. Thought I was braindead. It turns out that my mind just slipped into a coma as a defense mechanism to save me from thinking about how bad... oh no... oh... there it goes again... (slips into a coma)...
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