Two American college students are on a walking tour of Britain and are attacked by a werewolf. One is killed, the other is mauled. The werewolf is killed but reverts to its human form, and the local townspeople are unwilling to acknowledge its existence. The surviving student begins to have nightmares of hunting on four feet at first but then finds that his friend and other recent victims appear to him, demanding that he commit suicide to release them from their curse, being trapped between worlds because of their unnatural deaths.
With an ingenious script, engaging characters, nerve-shredding suspense, genuinely frightening set-pieces and laugh-out-loud funny bits An American Werewolf in London is a prime candidate for the finest horror-comedy ever made. Americans David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are backpacking in northern England when Jack is killed by a wild beast and David is bitten. Back in London David finds himself falling in love with a nurse, Alex (played with winning charm by Jenny Agutter), and turning into a werewolf. Adding to his problems, an increasingly decomposed Jack keeps coming back from the dead, and he is not a happy corpse. The Oscar winning make-up and transformation scenes still look good and rather than send itself up Werewolf plays its horror seriously, the laughs coming naturally from the surreal situation. Naughton is engagingly confused and disbelieving, desperately coping with the ever more nightmarish world, while Landis delivers one absolutely stunning dream sequence, an unbearably tense hunt on the London Underground and a breathtaking finale. Gory, erotic, shocking and romantic, this unforgettable horror classic has it all. –Gary S Dalkin