Howling V: The Rebirth


Action / Horror

IMDb Rating 4.5 10 1874


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William Shockley as Richard Hamilton
Philip Davis as Count Istvan

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by (Vomitron_G) 5 / 10

The werewolf concept poured into a slasher/whodunit mystery format

With this one, I've finally watched all the HOWLING sequels. I can see why people actually like this 5th installment, as it does try to do something else with the werewolf concept. It plays out like a whodunit-slasher, set on one imaginative location (a Hungarian castle setting). Yet still, when you have to judge it on its own terms and nature, it falls short at the end of the ride. There's too little of the mystery-plot to enjoy (not enough red herrings, no twists worth mentioning and the killer/werewolf could just be anybody really - it's no fun to think along with the plot as there is not much to think about and no real puzzles to be solved). All the actual kills sadly happen off-screen (only ripped throats are shown after the events). We don't get to see much of the werewolf (only some brief glimpses during the attacks) and the film does not feature a transformation-scene (which I was so hoping for to happen during the conclusion). It's even lacking a decent climax of sorts.

The acting is strictly so-so, provided by a cast compiled out of unfamiliar names (at least to me they were). The small bits of humor injected into some of the dialogues, didn't really pay off. Fortunately they weren't too distracting. As far as cinematography goes, I only found the special effect shots, of the exterior of the castle during a snow storm, to be enjoyable. The interior sets of the castle chambers, dungeons and corridors looked a little cheap. But that can be forgiven, due to the movie's low budget.

It's an amusing watch and certainly not the worst or most idiotic HOWLING sequel, yes, but nothing more. HOWLING V might have drawn a lot of influences from that other 'guess the werewolf'-film THE BEAST MUST DIE (1974, starring Peter Cushing). Slightly more ridiculous but also a lot more fun, that film's at least worth checking out. I'm not too sure about HOWLING V, though. I probably should be flunking this film, but I'll be forgiving in my final rating. If only for the fact that HOWLING V: THE REBIRTH is infinitely better than the series final installment, (Part 7) NEW MOON RISING. Part 7 tries to tie up loose ends between part 4 (THE ORIGINAL NIGHTMARE) and part 5 (THE REBIRTH), but writer/director/producer/actor Clive Turner turned it into an insufferable mess of a movie.

Reviewed by ryannemetz 8 / 10

The best of the HOWLING movies

Howling V: The Rebrith takes place in an ancient medieval castle set in Hungary. The castle has been dormant for 500 years, and now there are a selected group of guests that are invited to spend a weekend there. Furthermore, none of these guests have had any previous contact with one another. It's not like they're there for a birthday bash or something of that nature. But soon enough, they realize they have more in common than they first expected. As the savage murders begin, they cannot escape the castle, essentially they are trapped inside its walls. By the way, the castle is sure a creepy one. I really love the atmosphere of this movie. And once all of that starts up, it's a game of who's the werewolf. The special effects are nothing special in this film. However, I think that the way the film carries itself proves that you don't need a ton of blood to have a good horror film. It's too bad that you don't get to see too much of the werewolf. I don't know if the budget contributed to this, or just maybe that's the way Neal (director) Sundstrum wanted things. Speaking of Sundstram, I would have liked to see him direct some other features. As far as I know, this is the only movie that he has directed. And finally, the ending has a good twist to it. I've seen all of the Howling films, and this is by far the best in the series. Howling V has no relationship to the previous films, outside of the title. 8/10

Reviewed by lost-in-limbo 6 / 10

Better than I expected it to be, but...

The Howling series doesn't have much of a great reputation, each one being different in style and tone with no real connection to each other. Although the second film does touch upon the original in some sort plot tie. I never been a huge fan of the original and the sequels that I've seen (2, 3 and 4) are simply inferior. So I went into the filth venture (another straight-to-video fare) expecting less, but actually came away mildly enjoying it. In some regards I enjoyed it more than the original… that's not to say it's better than that film. But I was pleasantly surprised by it.

A group of strangers selected from around the world are invited by an aristocratic count to the re-opening of a castle in Budapest that hasn't seen light for over 500 years due to its terrible past. Unknowingly to them everyone in the group bears an identical birthmark that links them to the castle's terrible past.

The low-budget, but sturdy "The Howling V: The Re-Birth" plays around with the ten little Indians murder mystery formula, but the killer is no ordinary being but actually a werewolf. The revelation might not come as a surprise, as there are certain clues scattered about pointing to the one in question, but it still remains cleverly penned (it elaborately plotted) and unpredictable in what order the guests become fresh meat. The performances are down-to-earth by the likes of Stephanie Faulkner, Mark Sivertsen and William Shockley, as there is an odd assortment of characters where a lot of time can be spent on trivial dialogue exchanges. However it stays gripping, crowned with mystery and danger where the remote Gothic castle setting (modern day Budapest) is dark and dank. The ominously gloomy and taut atmosphere works, as they keep to what its budget allows it and this means making sure the beast mostly stays in the shadows. Lurking or stalking its prey. Director Neal Sundstrom favours suggestively brooding handling. We don't get much of a real look, as there's plenty of rapid moving POV shots, minor flashes and off-screen attacks. What we did see of it didn't look the greatest, but it's acceptable. Moments do strike up some eerie spells and suspenseful build-ups before it deliver the shocks. It's helped by competently sweeping camera-work and a foreboding music score.

Entertaining superstitious whodunit b-grade hokum

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