A few months back, rumor had it that an American Werewolf in London remake was in the works, with Max Landis and The Walking Dead producers on board and I was intrigued. As a kid I was always fascinated, but terrified, by werewolf movies. I've never been a fan of being startled, and jump scares are a technique most werewolf films have used to convey the uncontrolled nature of these beasts. But it got me thinking. Which are some of the most terrifying werewolves in modern movie history? Here are five werewolves you'd least want to cross paths with on a moonlit night.
1. American Werewolf in London (1981)
- Director: John Landis (Max Landis' dad)
- Starring: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne
American Werewolf in London tells the story of two American college students who decide to backpack through Britain and are attacked by a werewolf. While one is ripped to shreds, the other survives only to find out he is living with a curse brought on by the a full moon.
It was a film that kept many kids in the 1980s sleeping with the lights on or in their parents' bedroom for the transformation scene alone. The entire scene, which heavily relied on groundbreaking practical effects including prosthetics and robotic parts, eventually won the movie the Oscar for that year and it deserved it. It was gruesome and terrifying and flat-out painful to watch. Definitely not a werewolf you want to be around when he's transforming—or after.
2. Van Helsing (2004)
- Director: Stephen Sommers
- Starring: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh
The character of Van Helsing was already a force to be reckoned with before #HughJackman upped the famous literary character's game in 2004, taking on the likes of vampire brides, werewolves, Mr. Hyde, and even Dracula himself. In this retelling, Van Helsing had been given the curse of the werewolf. With his new powers, he was able to take on and defeat the powerful Dracula, a feat not many can lay claim too. Without a doubt, he is one wolf you would not want to mess with.
3. The Wolfman (2010)
- Director: Joe Johnston
- Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving
2010's #TheWolfman wasn't met with many accolades but definitely gave us a fresh take on the classic film of the same name. Benicio Del Toro was great in the role of Larry Talbot, a man contracted to hunt down his brother's killer by his grieving fiancée. Larry returns to his family estate and finds strange things are afoot. While visiting a gypsy camp during a full moon, he is attacked by a wolf and becomes the exact thing the villagers fear most: The Wolfman. When he says, "I will kill all of you!" in the scene above, the men should have been running—not laughing.
4. Underworld: Evolution (2006)
- Director: Len Wiseman
- Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Tony Curran, Brian Steele, Derek Jacobi
Son of first Immortal, Alexander Corvinus, and twin brother of Marcus, William Corvinus becomes the first of his kind: a Lycan. While in the Carpathian Mountains, William was attacked by a large wolf when he stepped in to shield his defenseless brother. He was able to kill the wolf, but not before being bitten. Unfortunately, the brothers had been born with their father's immortal gene; once the gene reacted with the wolf bite and rabies, it transformed William into the world's first Lycan. As the progenitor of all werewolves, William was more beast than man, unable to change his form back to that of a human. He became a true monster, roaming the countryside and killing anything he saw as the beast within raged, unable to be controlled.
5. Underworld (2003)
- Director: Len Wiseman
- Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen
I couldn't have this list without my favorite. Michael is a werewolf-vampire hybrid and one of the most powerful creatures of all time. According to the writers and directors of Underworld, Michael Corvin was the very first character created for the franchise. The limits of his powers have been put the test many times throughout the franchise, even going as far as to bring Michael back from death.
His physical strength rivals that of the oldest and most powerful vampires as well as the most powerful Lycans. In #UnderworldEvolution Michael was even powerful enough to defeat William Corvinus with his bare hands.