Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Horror Countdown 2016: Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)

Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988) dir. John Hough, Allied Vision

Small confession, I've never read Gary Brander's the Howling, but from most accounts this version is closer to the book than Dante's take. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Marie Adams (Romy Windsor) is a novelist with a problem. Lately she's been having fairly intense nightmares about a nun. These visions start spilling over into her waking life when during a meeting with her agent Tom (Anthony Hamilton), she sees a wolf lunging at her from out of a fire and dire warnings from a nun.

Her doctor convinces Marie's husband Richard (Michael T. Weiss) that what Marie needs is some time in the country. No stimulation, no excitement, nothing to send her imagination into overdrive; Richard agrees and soon the couple is arriving in the quaint village of Drago.

Things seem great at first, but at night the howling of wolves keeps both of them up at night. The people closest to their cottage are Eleanor (Lamya Derval), who runs the local antique shop and the Ormsteads, who run the local general store.

When out walking her dog, the dog suddenly gets spooked and runs away. Marie finds what's left of the poor thing the next day. She also sees what could be the nun from her vision, but it turns out to be Eleanor in a cape.

Marie's visions get more intense and worrisome. When Janice (Susanne Severeid) arrives, she first claims to simply be a fan of Marie, but it turns out Janice has other motivations. Namely she used to be a nun, but when her friend Sister Ruth (Megan Kruskal) went missing and turned up later near Drago screaming about the Devil, Janice figures to do some sleuthing.

All while this is going on, Richard finds himself growing closer to Eleanor while the wolves keep howling. Can Marie figure it out in time?

Disappointing and the lower budget is obvious. Can something be called a werewolf film if it barely has any werewolves? 

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