John Landis's 1981 attempt to recast the classic horror film into the flip, self-mocking style of his Animal House while retaining the thrills and chills. It's a failure, less because the odd stylistic mix doesn't take (it does from time to time, and to striking effect) than because Landis hasn't bothered to put his story into any kind of satisfying shape. It's the Blues Brothers syndrome again: a lot of dissociated segments left hanging in midair. Still, this may be one of Landis's most personal films: passages of adolescent sexual fantasy alternate with powerfully expressed guilt over dirtier fantasies of family murder and rape. The director may be more in tune with the Freudian subtext of the werewolf fable than his carefully maintained surface cool might indicate. With David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, and Jenny Agutter.
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