‘Last train. Full moon. All change.’
Howl is a 2015 British supernatural horror feature film directed by Paul Hyett (The Descent [special effects]; The Seasoning House) from a screenplay by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler (Don’t Knock Twice).
The Starchild Pictures production stars Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers; The Seasoning House), Shauna Macdonald, Ed Speleers, Calvin Dean, Phelim Kelly, Ania Marson, Rosie Day, Brett Goldstein, Robert Nairne, Miroslav Zaruba, Joel Phillimore, Driek Constantine, Aaron Sequerah, Ryan Oliva, Venla Shalin, and Amit Shah.
Joe, a young ticket collector, is riding the last train out of London on a dark and stormy night along with a meagre bunch of passengers. When the train brakes violently and comes to a sudden halt deep in the middle of a forest, it seems they have hit something on the line. But when the driver ventures out to investigate, he never returns, leaving the passengers in a state of panic – particularly when Joe sees the driver’s mutilated body outside the carriage.
Realising there’s something dangerous lurking in the forest, Joe tells the passengers to make barricades to secure themselves in the carriage, but soon the deadly creature is stalking the besieged train and smashing through their defences, picking them off one-by-one…
“Screenwriters Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler — who have previous Thomas the Tank Engine credits, so probably count as train-spotters — go for a mix of soap and comedy and the creatures have a different, shaggy-human look. An unashamed B picture, but fun.” Kim Newman, Empire
“The special effects team seem to have been more at home grappling with ropes of bloodied entrails than they were creating the werewolves, which would have been more effective if they had stayed hidden from the audience.” Wendy Ide, The Guardian
“…good fun and made with a bit of heart that low-budget creature features aren’t always infused with. The acting isn’t award-winning quality but the casting of familiar British faces like Duncan Preston (Emmerdale), Sean Pertwee (he is in there but blink and you’ll miss him) and Shauna Macdonald (Filth; The Descent) who pitch their performances accordingly keeps things moving along.” Chris Ward, Flickering Myth
“The dynamic tensions of the endangered group are swiftly established – leering businessman, stroppy, earphoned teen, resourceful trolley-girl etc – and the upright monster effects are given some bite by Agnieszka Liggett’s snappy editing.” Mark Kermode, The Observer