A werewolf in England Poster

Review: A Werewolf in England (2020)

It seems like I just finished reviewing Charlie Steeds’ Vampire Virus and his next film A Werewolf in England arrives. That’s his fourth film to be released this year, after An English Haunting and The Barge People. Charlie, I love your films, but give a guy a break.

Parish Councillor Horace Raycraft (Tim Cartwright, The Legend of Mordred) is transporting Archie Whittock (Reece Connolly) to court. There, after a fair, and fairly short, trial he’ll be hung for murder. He claims self-defence, he killed a werewolf who turned back to its human form when it died. But in Queen Victoria’s England, everyone knows there’s no such thing.

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A storm forces them to take shelter at The Three Claws, an inn in the middle of nowhere. Innkeepers Martha (Emma Spurgin Hussey, Sacrilege) and her brother Vincent (Barrington De La Roche, Blood Moon, Winterskin) welcome them. By morning, Councillor Raycraft will have a different opinion about the existence of werewolves. If he survives.

Vampire Virus saw Steeds try his hand at shooting highly stylized scenes, and A Werewolf in England has a couple of firsts for him as well. Set in Victorian times, it’s his first real period piece. It’s also his first attempt at comedy.

As a period piece, A Werewolf in England mostly gets the look right. The Three Claws has a stained-glass window that looks a bit too modern. And when you get a good look at them, the handcuffs look like modern bondage gear rather than vintage police issue. But given the budget he had to work with, he’s done a good job.

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The humour is mostly of the slapstick and gross out variety. Somebody getting an accidental golden shower, a werewolf with diarrhea, ridiculously over the top “scared” reactions. Thankfully, he doesn’t overdo it like Exorcism at 60,000 Feet did. That kind of humour wears thin after a while.

This also does not mean that Steeds downplays the horror. A Werewolf in England starts out in the vein of films like Motel Hell or The Folks at Red Wolf Inn. Then the werewolves turn up and promptly rip a head, complete with spine attached, off.

The werewolves are, thankfully, actors Sam Lane (Deadman Apocalypse, The Barge People) and Derek Nelson (The Mutation, Pandamonium) in suits built by US creature designers Midnight Studios. We don’t get to see an actual transformation, but the suits themselves are impressive. Equally impressive is the gore on display here. There’s more than one decapitation, eye removal, and a severed arm with a mind of its own. It’s a siege in the style of Dog Soldiers, and almost as good.

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Those defending the inn include Minnie (Jéssica Alonso, An English Haunting), a hooker, Jane (Natalie Martins, Solar Impact), a single mother on the run from her baby’s violent father (Natalie Martins, Solar Impact) and Reverend Pankhurst (Mark McKirdy, Electric Man). Also watch for Kate Davies-Speak (The Summoner, Dead House) in a brief appearance as one of the pack’s snacks.

After a run of films like Werewolves of the Third Reich and The Snarling, British werewolves needed a film like A Werewolf in England. It’s a fast paced, gory and funny good time. High Fliers has released A Werewolf in England in its home country. Hopefully other territories will follow shortly. You can check the film’s Facebook page for updates.

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2 thoughts on “Review: A Werewolf in England (2020)”

  1. Hi – I’m a fan of your site and always look forward to notifications of your excellent reviews. I was interested to see the appearance of Werewolf In England as I have to say I can’t share your enthusiasm for Charlie Steeds’ films – I admire his enterprise but the results that I have seen have been woeful ( I seem to be in a minority here and as the writer of another excellent movie blog shares your opinion ). This one looks fun ( even if it does have Barrington de la Roche who , at the risk of sounding mean, on the evidence of the work he’s done for Steeds is one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen ). Still, I’ll give Werewolf IE a go, with an open mind.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the kind words!

      I’ve noticed Steeds seems to be a rather polarizing figure. I’ve actually taken a good few comments from friends for liking him.

      Barrington de la Roche I’ll admit isn’t a great actor, but he’s usually amusing as comic relief.

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