A Werewolf in England is a 2020 British horror feature film set in a remote 19th-century countryside inn besieged by raging lycanthropes.
Written, produced, photographed, edited and directed by Charlie Steeds (Vampire Virus; An English Haunting; The Barge People; Winterskin; Cannibal Farm), the High Fliers Films–Dark Temple Motion Pictures production stars Reece Connolly, Tim Cartwright (Vampire Virus; The Barge People; The Legend of Mordred), Natalie Martins (The Barge People; Poltergeist Activity) and Mark McKirdy (Vampire Virus; The Barge People).
In the 19th-century, a parish councillor and criminal take refuge at a remote countryside inn, unaware that flesh-hungry werewolves inhabit the surrounding woodlands and are ready to feed…
When the first images from Charlie Steeds’ keenly-anticipated A Werewolf in England arrived online they were greeted with a positive thumbs-up from horror fans. The lycanthropes looked impressive and the lighting seemed classy. Yesterday, the first trailer appeared and that anticipation was swelled when the shaggy bipedal beasts were glimpsed in action.
With the movie now available in the UK on DVD we can rejoice that there is another minor classic in the world of werewolves, albeit of the bargain budget variety. But cheap ’n’ cheerful doesn’t always mean ineffectual!
This is a fast-paced comedic romp and one that unabashedly revels in the baser elements of lycanthropic lore. Unlike some threadbare werewolf outings – the glimpsed-for-seconds beast in Half Moon (2009) has to be the worst offender – this creature feature doesn’t shy away from showing the critters in all their glory and we even get several fairly impressive suit creations courtesy of Kyle Thompson of Midnight Studios FX from Arizona. The werewolves are pretty bulky too so we can presume are well-fed when they come to call on the night of the red moon! Of course, the budget didn’t run to transformations but that’s understandable.
Pretty much all of the action takes place within the rooms of The Three Claws inn which is dimly yet accurately lit in accordance with the scenario’s period setting. The confined close-at-hand fighting, clawing and hacking that ensues thankfully also recalls the claustrophobic highlights of Dog Soldiers. Only a curiously incongruous modern-looking abstract stained-glass window in the inn staircase stands out as being out of place and tighter editing would also have avoided shots of some wobbly set walls.
Performance-wise, the cast is more than game with Reece Connolly as Archie the somewhat hapless hero providing nods to Ash from The Evil Dead, Tim Cartwright as a witty parish councillor whose quips are a delight and Natalie Martins as Jane, steadfastly attempting to protect her baby (thus providing an added element of danger). Steeds’ regular old ranter Barrington de la Roche is on hand once again which is a mixed blessing as his overt mugging here is slightly distracting when there are already many other characters gleefully going OTT such as Emma Spurgin Hussey as his evil sister. These folks wouldn’t be out of a place in an adult-orientated pantomime.
In fact, some of the humour gets positively Tromaesque with a rambunctious romp involving a “gutter whore” (wonderfully played by Jéssica Alonso), piss from a chamber pot being tossed around and a vile yet amusing scene involving sloppy werewolf poo. You have been warned.
While Steeds’ Vampire Virus was a very sparse and embarrassingly grating attempt to go transatlantic with painfully fake Yank accents a go-go, A Werewolf in England is, as its title attests, a delightfully base British take on lycanthropy that revels in ribald humour, frantic action and downright dirty detail. It’s a return to form after the equally homespun austerity of An English Haunting had shown his filmmaking skills maturing.
Some may find A Werewolf in England a tad too camp for their tastes. And yet, suitably forewarned most horror hounds will find this a very welcome slice of full-moon foolery. A playful and spirited, yet at times suitably doom-laden, soundtrack score from Simone Cilio adds perfectly to the overall ambience.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“Steeds’ skills here – of creating something out of not much at all – are in abundance. Most of the movie takes place in a two-room set (the inn is a real location in Cornwall but I’m guessing the owners feared for the soft furnishings) but so inventive is the camerawork and the interplay between the quirky cast that you barely get time to acknowledge and limitations of the interiors.” Bloody Flicks
“We don’t get to see an actual transformation but suits themselves are impressive. Equally impressive is the gore on display here. There’s more than one decapitation, eye removal, and a severed arm with a mind of its own. It’s a siege in the style of Dog Soldiers, and almost as good […] After a run of films like Werewolves of the Third Reich and The Snarling, British werewolves needed a film like A Werewolf in England. It’s a fast-paced, gory and funny good time.” Voices from the Balcony
In the UK, the movie will be released on DVD by High Fliers Films on 28th September 2020. Buy via Amazon.co.uk
Principal production wrapped on March 6th, 2020, for what was described by the filmmakers as a “100% practical effects Victorian-era horror film, for which we built the vast set of a two-floor Gothic Victorian inn, on location in Cornwall UK.”
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