(Photo by Universal, Avco Embassy, Cannon Films, Summit Entertainment, Unapix Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection)

The 25 Essential Werewolf Movies To Watch Right Now

Werewolves haven’t had the same pop cultural penetration as their fright-night brethren like zombies, vampires, and the assortment of slasher villains, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have movies worth howling for. As with most movie monsters, the earliest efforts in the genre are among the best, as they open audience eyes to previously unseen worlds of terror, and illuminate a future of sequels, ripoffs, and remakes. 1941’s The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney Jr., remains the fast and furriest, though we also pay tribute to its 1935 progenitor Werewolf of London.

Since ol’ Wolfy got a late start compared to other Universal Classic Monsters, at a time when their influence was beginning to wane, the studio was quick to put him in crossover sequels that were the style at the time. 1940s movies like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and The House of Frankenstein saw Chaney doing his best in a crowded cast.

Things frankly got quiet for a few decades, until in 1981 no less than three influential werewolf movies came out: Wolfen, The Howling, and An American Werewolf in London. Being back in the spotlight, and this being the ’80s, of course werewolves also got a teen comedy (Teen Wolf) and a kid-friendly romp (The Monster Squad).

Highlights since that ’80s heyday include the feminist deconstruction Ginger Snaps, action-packed Dog Soldiers, and getting the sexy treatment in both Underworld and Twilight.

If it’s a bright night out with a full moon, then you know what that means: Barricade the door, smelt all the silver in the house down into bullets, and get ready for a fur-flyin’ fight. That, or just check out our guide to the 25 Essential Werewolf Movies and settle in for a howling good time.


Wolfen (1981)

Adjusted Score: 71058%
Critics Consensus: Police procedural meets werewolf flick in Wolfen, a creepy creature feature with a surprisingly profound side.
Synopsis: New York City police investigator Dewey Wilson (Albert Finney) is trying to solve a series of grisly deaths in which... [More]
Directed By: Michael Wadleigh

Adjusted Score: 46543%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While in Tibet researching a mysterious flower that purportedly takes its strength from the moon, botanist Wilfred Glendon (Henry Hull)... [More]
Directed By: Stuart Walker


Wolf (1994)

Adjusted Score: 66278%
Critics Consensus: Wolf misses the jugular after showing flashes of killer instinct early on, but engaging stars and deft direction make this a unique horror-romance worth watching.
Synopsis: After being bitten by a wolf in rural Vermont, aging book editor Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) finds himself full of... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols


WolfCop II (2016)

Adjusted Score: 64105%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An alcoholic cop experiences blackouts and starts turning into a werewolf when the full moon appears in the sky.... [More]
Directed By: Lowell Dean

Adjusted Score: 26074%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lawrence Stewart Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) is plagued by a physical oddity that turns him into a crazed werewolf after... [More]
Directed By: Roy William Neill

Adjusted Score: 34864%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man with brutal and macabre origins, Leon Corledo (Oliver Reed) was raised in the home of Don Alfredo Corledo... [More]
Directed By: Terence Fisher


Silver Bullet (1985)

Adjusted Score: 47907%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a series of unexplained murders occurs in the normally quiet town of Tarker's Mill, the residents decide to hunt... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Attias


Teen Wolf (1985)

Adjusted Score: 44005%
Critics Consensus: Though Michael J. Fox is as charismatic as ever, Teen Wolf's coming-of-age themes can't help but feel a little stale and formulaic.
Synopsis: When high school nerd Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) learns from his father, Harold (James Hampton), that being a werewolf... [More]
Directed By: Rod Daniel


Van Helsing (2004)

Adjusted Score: 33348%
Critics Consensus: A hollow creature feature that suffers from CGI overload.
Synopsis: Famed monster slayer Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) is dispatched to Transylvania to assist the last of the Valerious bloodline... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Sommers

Adjusted Score: 37967%
Critics Consensus: The Twilight Saga's second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.
Synopsis: After the abrupt departure of Edward (Robert Pattinson), her vampire love, Bella (Kristen Stewart) finds comfort in her deepening friendship... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz

Adjusted Score: 93688%
Critics Consensus: The Wolf of Snow Hollow treads somewhat unsteadily between horror and comedy, but writer-director-star Jim Cummings' unique sensibilities make for an oddly haunting hybrid.
Synopsis: A stressed-out police officer struggles not to give in to the paranoia that grips his small mountain town as bodies... [More]
Directed By: Jim Cummings

Adjusted Score: 92219%
Critics Consensus: Werewolves Within is the rare horror comedy that offers equal helpings of either genre -- and adds up to a whole lot of fun in the bargain.
Synopsis: After a proposed pipeline creates divisions within the small town of Beaverfield, and a snowstorm traps its residents together inside... [More]
Directed By: Josh Ruben


Underworld (2003)

Adjusted Score: 35806%
Critics Consensus: Though stylish to look at, Underworld is tedious and derivative.
Synopsis: Under cover of night, vampires engage in an age-old battle with their sworn enemies, the Lycans, a clan of violent... [More]
Directed By: Len Wiseman

Adjusted Score: 64021%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A patient (Tatiana Maslany) at a rehabilitation center tries to prevent a young woman (Emily Perkins) from transforming into a... [More]
Directed By: Brett C. Sullivan


The Howling (1981)

Adjusted Score: 75742%
Critics Consensus: The Howling packs enough laughs into its lycanthropic carnage to distinguish it from other werewolf entries, with impressive visual effects adding some bite.
Synopsis: In Los Angeles, television journalist Karen White (Dee Wallace) is traumatized in the course of aiding the police in their... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante


Dog Soldiers (2002)

Adjusted Score: 80990%
Critics Consensus: Frightening, funny, and packed with action, Dog Soldiers is well worth checking out for genre fans -- and marks writer-director Neil Marshall as a talent to keep an eye on.
Synopsis: During a routine nighttime training mission in the Scottish Highlands, a small squad of British soldiers expected to rendezvous with... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

Adjusted Score: 63375%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Wolves and werewolves lurk throughout the dreams of young Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson), who imagines that she must journey through a... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan


Ginger Snaps (2000)

Adjusted Score: 90444%
Critics Consensus: The strong female cast and biting satire of teenage life makes Ginger Snaps far more memorable than your average werewolf movie -- or teen flick.
Synopsis: The story of two outcast sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), in the mindless suburban town of Bailey... [More]
Directed By: John Fawcett

Adjusted Score: 92658%
Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.
Synopsis: David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne), two American college students, are backpacking through Britain when a large wolf attacks... [More]
Directed By: John Landis


The Wolf Man (1941)

Adjusted Score: 95063%
Critics Consensus: A handsomely told tale with an affecting performance from Lon Chaney, Jr., The Wolf Man remains one of the classics of the Universal horror stable.
Synopsis: When his brother dies, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) returns to Wales and reconciles with his father (Claude Rains). While there,... [More]
Directed By: George Waggner

Tag Cloud

italian Fall TV Mary Poppins Returns Opinion hidden camera TBS Fargo technology hispanic heritage month 2016 adaptation directors Trophy Talk Mary Tyler Moore reviews crime thriller critic resources Valentine's Day dogs Food Network streaming movies elevated horror Box Office king arthur live event Family Best and Worst series SXSW unscripted game show japan Syfy rotten binge golden globes Pride Month TCA 2017 Film richard e. Grant Awards YouTube Premium dreamworks 4/20 Pixar festival TV One versus royal family toronto Reality Walt Disney Pictures international Schedule Sci-Fi screenings biography 2015 Acorn TV indiana jones all-time CBS All Access History Black History Month Sundance Mary poppins composers miniseries President Toys 94th Oscars breaking bad Polls and Games movies Election Thanksgiving Holidays documentaries ratings comics Super Bowl laika Reality Competition venice GLAAD slashers The Arrangement ESPN Amazon Studios Academy Awards cooking summer TV preview 2018 Hear Us Out Calendar finale Comic-Con@Home 2021 harry potter robots Image Comics dexter kids 2021 mob best rom-coms Brie Larson SDCC SundanceTV South by Southwest Film Festival psycho TV movies cancelled 2019 Biopics Apple TV Plus 20th Century Fox USA E3 broadcast Summer National Geographic Vudu halloween tv docuseries Classic Film saw japanese criterion comic books mutant true crime thriller Turner trophy Turner Classic Movies facebook Disney Pop TV Disney Channel Lifetime Western Certified Fresh screen actors guild dc classics sports MSNBC Wes Anderson stoner historical drama sitcom Musical Best Actor Peacock slasher Comics on TV vs. rt labs rotten movies we love canceled TV shows free movies Country Nat Geo jurassic park HFPA Mystery supernatural Film Festival Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cartoon summer preview DGA Universal Teen transformers vampires Discovery Channel AMC Plus Lucasfilm Bravo RT21 TCA Awards Marvel Television Ghostbusters concert Logo scary movies heist movie A24 Amazon Prime Starz medical drama biopic Mindy Kaling cancelled television TCA 1990s FX Watching Series mcc deadpool GIFs Interview Animation animated TV BBC America telelvision Women's History Month Rocketman cars toy story debate zero dark thirty franchise Shudder discovery based on movie canceled singing competition young adult teaser Alien Trailer new star wars movies sag awards ghosts Song of Ice and Fire TCM joker Elton John documentary Marvel Studios disaster natural history police drama Nominations Epix 24 frames cancelled TV shows Sony Pictures Columbia Pictures blockbusters jamie lee curtis anime stand-up comedy trailers spain period drama LGBT Netflix Christmas movies dark aapi FXX OneApp GoT IMDb TV 2017 Podcast a nightmare on elm street rt archives obi wan MCU zombie Chernobyl genre 21st Century Fox basketball Best Picture Superheroe YouTube Exclusive Video fast and furious universal monsters book adaptation olympics christmas movies Year in Review art house parents Martial Arts Pet Sematary popular casting DC streaming service Nickelodeon Masterpiece Paramount First Reviews Countdown spanish language Writers Guild of America New York Comic Con theme song politics nbcuniversal Legendary Black Mirror Captain marvel spinoff french Grammys quibi cats book AMC crime drama Character Guide comic book movies romance action-comedy sequels live action TLC Sundance TV The Academy FOX marvel comics spider-man monster movies Best Director football remakes tv talk docudrama suspense streamig Tarantino superhero psychological thriller Shondaland justice league scene in color Hallmark Christmas movies PlayStation TIFF Star Wars leaderboard 007 Spectrum Originals CMT HBO Max ID travel PBS news dragons spy thriller TNT WGN Universal Pictures USA Network Adult Swim mission: impossible comic foreign Oscars PaleyFest Pirates australia Fantasy cops NBC emmy awards television Netflix Sundance Now Hollywood Foreign Press Association Showtime Video Games Mudbound Television Critics Association legend FX on Hulu MGM anthology Instagram Live Anna Paquin 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Star Trek stop motion Ovation razzies Set visit streaming science fiction Avengers diversity Freeform Stephen King space batman worst 90s wonder woman Tumblr satire X-Men BET golden globe awards TV renewals Extras witnail blockbuster Creative Arts Emmys Action ViacomCBS 73rd Emmy Awards Crackle Lifetime Christmas movies RT History Paramount Plus The Walt Disney Company scary Marvel BET Awards gangster Lionsgate halloween lord of the rings Emmy Nominations Holiday IFC Films Quiz black comedy Hallmark Emmys E! WarnerMedia die hard Kids & Family Chilling Adventures of Sabrina name the review Drama Superheroes nfl video on demand Baby Yoda Paramount Network zombies Winners Funimation revenge indie Awards Tour Paramount Pictures HBO green book 79th Golden Globes Awards comedies NBA independent award winner Ellie Kemper A&E Broadway Dark Horse Comics sopranos movie Cartoon Network BAFTA spider-verse high school summer TV ABC Family Warner Bros. crossover OWN talk show Tags: Comedy prank Focus Features Tubi The Walking Dead spanish CW Seed The Witch south america APB NYCC YA godzilla VICE aliens Infographic Marathons DC Universe DirecTV Rock Prime Video ITV blaxploitation Comedy cinemax Heroines children's TV Travel Channel superman social media See It Skip It hist new zealand Fox News pirates of the caribbean archives 71st Emmy Awards posters Binge Guide nature comic book movie The Purge crime critics Pop know your critic doctor who TV Land sequel Tomatazos El Rey Hulu Rocky SXSW 2022 Trivia TruTV comiccon IFC films Apple TV+ renewed TV shows Television Academy what to watch boxoffice hollywood Rom-Com child's play Christmas feel good Red Carpet 99% interviews serial killer 45 mockumentary dceu romantic comedy cancelled TV series Britbox CBS 2020 marvel cinematic universe The CW VH1 Comedy Central kaiju Sneak Peek 72 Emmy Awards Winter TV Cosplay james bond Crunchyroll Cannes kong obituary ABC Signature San Diego Comic-Con DC Comics werewolf Apple dramedy adenture Disney streaming service war Esquire Oscar American Society of Cinematographers Tokyo Olympics MTV Disney+ Disney Plus worst movies fresh First Look asian-american target Amazon Prime Video women Disney Plus Amazon Horror chucky black TCA Winter 2020 king kong new york political drama BBC One hispanic rt labs critics edition strong female leads Musicals Endgame Photos Arrowverse twilight CNN cults YouTube Red latino festivals LGBTQ Fox Searchlight Spring TV Music 93rd Oscars reboot Neflix scorecard game of thrones VOD Spike video Comic Book ABC BBC Best Actress adventure boxing Premiere Dates HBO Go Pacific Islander