Monday, October 28, 2019

Wolves, werewolves, and demons

To my knowledge, there's a very short list of superior werewolf movies, and even those aren't truly great movies. Mind you, there may be additional examples I'm not aware of.

Unless I've overlooked something, directors have failed to develop the dramatic potential of the werewolf character. It alternates between mundane human and savage instinctive animal. 

The problem is a failure to creatively explore and exploit lupine intelligence. To take a comparison, cats are interesting to watch in motion. How they move. Feline reflexes and feline stalking patterns. But in my observation, there just isn't a whole lot going on behind the eyes. 

By contrast, wolves strike me as being far smarter than cats. I don't just mean domestic cats but lions, leopards, and tigers. Wolves remind me of psychopaths. Amoral, pitiless malevolence. Of course, wolves lack the higher intelligence to be evil. But there's a certain analogy.

By the same token, wolves project a kind of inhuman diabolical cunning. Again, that's just an analogy. 

There's just something about lupine intelligence that seems to operate on a higher wavelength. When we look into the eyes of a wolf, it connects with the human viewer–almost like it understands us.  Something we recognize in ourselves, but chilling. Like looking in a mirror, where what you see looking back at you is both familiar and alien.  More akin to human intelligence than, yet inhumane in way similar to a psychopath: he has a human IQ but lacks natural empathy for fellow humans. Something is fatally missing. It's not surprising that heathen Indians felt a particular affinity for wolves. 

If directors, especially Christian directors, had greater imagination, the werewolf would be a good way to model demonic psychology. Or even the fall of angels, like the shift from werewolves in their human state to their lupine state–which parallels the change that fallen angels underwent. They remain angelic, but twisted. 


  1. Off the top of my head only an American werewolf in London and Dog soldiers are great werewolf movies.

  2. Apparently you've never seen Teen Wolf? ;)

  3. Warm Bodies is a good comedy (although I've only seen trailers and read reviews).