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This is a rather surprisingly good atmospheric piece of work from the early '80's. It's an horror that mostly lays its emphasis on its atmosphere.

Even though the movie is from the early '80's but is still that feels and moves like an '70's movie, which is a positive thing to note because of the great style and way of film-making that flourished in the '70's. It's a sort of movie that takes its time to set and build up things and features some slow moving sequences. This of course also adds to the atmosphere of the movie.

It shows a lot of scenes from the 'wolves' point-of-view, kind of "Predator" like style. This is a great move and surely adds to the tension and also mystery of the whole movie.

It's very different from just the usual genre work, from the same time period. It's a pretty refreshing '80's horror movie. It's refreshing since it doesn't merely tries to be a typical monster horror movie but one that is well written instead. It has a sort of more 'realistic' approach so to speak. But yes, it's also definitely true that in this case this style of film-making also takes away some of the horror of the movie. The movie also doesn't alway makes the best choices with its story. And because the movie is rather 'slow', not an awful lot is ever really happening all the time in this movie in terms of horror or action. (Of course this changes more and more when the movie heads toward the ending and its conclusion.) The only real horror and tension is now basically only in its atmosphere, which also suffice enough in this case by the way, since its all done so great.

It sort of all makes you wonder why Michael Wadleigh never directed any more movies. This was his only featured movie he so far ever directed and he further more only makes music documentaries.

The movie features some absolutely great and dynamic cinematography. And they by the way must have really loved the steadicam. I mean, which other movie ever billed the steadicam photographer before its director of photography? And it's not like this movie is one of the first featuring a steadicam, since it's an invention from the early '70's actually.

The musical score by James Horner is also quite effective but James oh, James, why did you basically used this very same score later again for the movie "Aliens". Oh well, Horner just never has been really known for his originality and he copies his own work more than often, which doesn't take away that his scores are often highly effective for his movies.

The movie with Albert Finney, Edward James Olmos and Gregory Hines, among others, features quite some big popular names in it. The casting doesn't seem always likely but all fit their parts well and did a more than good job.

A refreshing and good original piece of work that is surely a recommendable one!

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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