31st Oct2018

‘The Snarling’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Laurence Saunders, Chris Simmons, Ben Manning, Pablo Raybould, Ste Johnson, Joel Beckett, Julie Peasgood, Julia Deakin, Stephan Bessant | Written and Directed by Pablo Raybould


Werewolf movies aren’t generally the most popular sub genre of horror and there doesn’t seem to be half as many made as say, zombie movies. So when a new one is made I do like to check it out. An American Werewolf In London is arguably the most well known of the genre and probably the best to (it certainly has the best transformation scene) but Britain has produced a few other decent ones to. Most notably 2002’s Dog Soldiers and the more recent Howl. The Snarling chooses to go down a much more comedic route.

With The Snarling we see a new zombie film (it’s not quite as confusing as it might sound) being filmed in a small village. Unfortunately, the cast and crew start being attacked by something that very much resembles a wolf.

Aiming to do what Shaun of the Dead did for zombie movies, The Snarling tries the same with werewolves. And it gives it a good go. The comedy, for the most part, works very well. There’s some good comedic performances from actors who know comedy is all about timing and at least three quarters of the jokes got a laugh from me. Which is a pretty decent ratio.

There’s quite a few actors that a British audience will recognise. Many are on soaps and regular TV shows. In fact I’ve recently been re-watching The Office (UK) and have been thinking that not enough of the actors went on to do bigger things (I guess Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman did alright!). So I was happy to see Lucy Davis in the new Netflix show Sabrina and here in The Snarling her on screen ex, Lee, real name Joel Beckett, plays Bruce but doesn’t get enough screen time. Laurence Saunders plays two key roles and he plays both decently (although I preferred his performance of ‘normal’ guy Les Jervis , while his two best mates played by Chris Simmons and Ben Manning deliver some of the funniest lines. Director Pablo Raybould puts himself in a main role as a detective but it’s warranted as he shows plenty of charisma and more great comic timing. And Ste Johnson alongside side him is almost as enjoyable as the two show good chemistry.

But, it’s not all perfect. Quite a few jokes don’t quite hit the mark. And the biggest letdown is that we just don’t see enough of the werewolf. It’s in a very small part of the movie and when we do actually see it, it isn’t the greatest-looking lycan we’ve ever seen. The transformation scene isn’t even worth talking about. I understand that all of the above is due to the small budget but there are ways around this. A werewolf film, even a more comedic one, needs to have a scary or at least cool-looking monster, and The Snarling doesn’t have it.

So in truth, comedy movie fans will probably get more from The Snarling than horror fans. Despite it featuring zombies and werewolves! Expect to laugh much more than be scared and you’ll probably enjoy this latest werewolf offering.

*** 3/5

The Snarling is available on DVD now from Left Films.


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