Film Review: Wolfen (1981)

Into the Dark - Film Review: Wolfen (1981)

Albert Finney, Gregory Hines, Edward James Olmos, and Diane Venora star in this thriller about ancient shape-shifters lashing out at New York land developers for encroaching on their sacred ground. The wolf attacks are depicted with steadi-cam point-of-view shots and colored photography, which isn’t all that cool the first time, much less the second or third.

The cast all do great jobs, especially Olmos, who at one point strips down to his birthday suit, laps water out of a puddle and bays at the moon. The acting is unfortunately the only reason to keep watching Wolfen, because the story doesn’t add up to much. The wolves are the regular kind, not werewolves or anything visually interesting, and they’re driven to attack over something as mundane as land development?

When Wolfen was over, I couldn’t help but think, “That’s it?” I guess when it comes to the supernatural, I like the stakes to be higher.

Rating: 2/5 ★★☆☆☆ 


About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (

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