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Howling IV: The Original Nightmare Reviews

It seems that any successful horror film spawns at least a few sequels. Unfortunately, as the roman numerals climb, the commitment to good filmmaking seems to deteriorate. This installment of the "Howling" series does little to reverse that trend--and even less to whet viewer appetites for a possible fifth installment. Windsor is an attractive, best-selling author plagued by unsettling visions of a young nun and a demonic wolflike creature. Convinced that the visions are the result of stress and exhaustion, Windsor and her husband (Weiss), retreat to a quaint cottage near the small town of Drago. There she begins to suspect that her visions are not stress-related hallucinations at all but warnings of danger and evil from beyond the grave. By the time she puts the pieces together, Windsor falls into the clutches (and bed) of a seductive local shopkeeper who is also a werewolf. Soon afterwards, the wolves come out to devour Windsor and indoctrinate her husband into wolfdom. In the film's most ambitious effects sequence, her husband is reduced to a gurgling protoplasmic puddle, from which he is resurrected as a werewolf. As Windsor races here and there, vainly searching for help, she discovers that everyone in Drago is a werewolf. The film's special effects are cheesy at best, with the husband's big meltdown scene dragging on too long to be memorble. The film's only truly striking aspects occur during Windsor's visions, through which director Hough adroitly conveys the sense that the world stops whenever the mysterious nun appears.