British werewolf horror Howl takes place on a late night train that makes an emergency stop after hitting a deer. The engine is damaged, leaving the passengers and two train employees stranded. It’s a full moon and the train has stopped in the middle of a dark forest. They must work together when they find themselves attacked by a strange beast.
Ed Speleers is great as Joe, the overworked and unhappy train guard. At the beginning of the film we learn he’s been rejected for a promotion. His day, or should I say night is about to get a lot worse.
He has a love interest (obviously) in Ellen, played by Holly Weston, a coworker who is also trapped on the train. Sadly, Ellen and the other female passengers aren’t given much of an action role, nor are they that interesting or likeable but I still found myself enjoying the worst night of their lives.
The acting is part of what makes the film so watchable. With some recognisable faces including a cameo from Sean Pertwee, the characters are stereotypical but the actors make them bearable to watch. The special effects are good, as you might expect, as the director has a background in this area, working on films such as the excellent, The Decent.
I really liked the style of Howl, its muted blue, grey palette with accents of red helped set the mood and the shadowy forest, drowning in fog looked great. It builds tension well and while the film itself isn’t scary, there’s a good sense of not knowing how this is all going to end.
Howl is a cheap and cheerful horror that despite some cheesy moments is worth a watch!