Bark at the Moon: A History of the Werewolf in Horror Cinema

A quick historic overview of horror’s hairiest menace…
By  · Published on October 26th, 2017

A quick historic overview of horror’s hairiest menace…

Transformations, mutations, and metamorphoses have been a staple of the horror genre since its inception. A vampire’s bite, like a zombie’s, will turn its recipient into a card carrying member of the undead. Sometimes the cause of such sordid changes is disease, which causes the body to become something icky and unidentifiable. Horror often features human beings becoming not so human, and one of the most popular examples of this trope is synonymous with a full moon.

From The Wolf Man to Ginger Snaps and beyond, the werewolf is one of horror cinema’s most popular residents and has come in all shapes and forms. For the most part, though, they represent a loss of control and embracing humankind’s animal instincts. They aren’t necessarily evil, but when the beast takes control, you better watch out.

Youtube user Fandor’s essay provides a quick history lesson of the lycanthrope. From its roots in myth to subsequent screen portrayals, the video is a great entry point to the subgenre and the traits that define it. Just be prepared for things to get hairy.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.