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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Beautiful Films Ever Made - a Classic!
The Company of Wolves is simply a stunning visual and narrative treat for both horror and arthouse fans, and is definitely one of the best British films ever made.

Bringing together the humorous witchery of the awesome Angela Carter and the sensitive intractable beauty of Neil Jordan's direction, the art department's superlative recreation of the fairy tale...
Published 20 months ago by Caramba!

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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good film but not worth the extra
I'm a fan of this film (wonderful atmosphere, riveting special effects, lots of dry humour) but I was disappointed with the Blu-ray. It's not a film that boasts stunning image quality, and it was difficult to see the difference between this and the average standard definition DVD.

As the extras are limited to a director's commentary, I would advise saving some...
Published on 6 July 2009 by Amazon Customer


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Beautiful Films Ever Made - a Classic!, 16 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Company of Wolves Steelbook (Blu-ray + DVD) [1984] (Blu-ray)
The Company of Wolves is simply a stunning visual and narrative treat for both horror and arthouse fans, and is definitely one of the best British films ever made.

Bringing together the humorous witchery of the awesome Angela Carter and the sensitive intractable beauty of Neil Jordan's direction, the art department's superlative recreation of the fairy tale dream forest, and the suitably gory visual effects, which really were quite splendid for 1984, all combine to produce a funny, frightening, at times deliberately anachronistic, labyrinth of images and folk tales, and if its ever Freudian, it is so only with its tongue firmly in its cheek.

Carter's genius script takes the myth of the werewolf and the red riding hood tale as starting points for a sublime journey into the psycho-sexual fantasies of a teenage girl, which whilst they initially seem to lead one to the point of cliche suddenly perform psychic transformations which breathe marvellous new life into the matrices of gender and sexual politics. Don't get me wrong, the film is not a heavy thesis dressed up as pantomime, but a throughly intellectual and artistic treat that can be enjoyed on many levels.

The 18 rating is misleading and too restrictive these days as the film will very much appeal to thoughtful teenagers as much as adults, much as it did in the 80s - it really does not contain any material which could be deemed as 'adults only'. Parents will know if their children are mature enough to enter into this kind of contemplation.

The blu-ray transfer is wonderfully sharp, bringing out all the superlative detail and design in sets and costumes, and the sound is crisp and clear - a huge improvement on any previous dvd release. Great commentary from Jordan as he recounts his magical collaboration with the much-missed Carter, and whilst any other extras a sadly thin on the ground, this doesn't detract from the fact that this film is an essential purchase and should be part of any film fan's collection.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gothic take on a classic fairytale story, 11 Feb 2004
By 
Touring Mars (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The screenplay of this film was a colloboration between director Neil Jordan (Interview With A Vampire, The Crying Game) and feminist author Angela Carter, and is based upon a short story by Carter from her collection of short stories 'The Bloody Chamber'. This story, in turn, is based upon the classic children's story 'Little Red Riding Hood', but is filled with dark, menacing, and sexual imagery, all of which are used in the screenplay to create this stunning piece of gothic 'horror'.
That said, I always balk when I see this film placed in the 'Horror' section of any store, and cringe whenever I read a synopsis describing this film as a story about werewolves. Both descriptions are very wide of the mark. This is a story about the transition from childhood to adulthood of a teenage girl, and the symbolism throughout the film is subtle and powerful simultaneously. As such, it pretty much goes without saying that if you are looking for a scary movie, you're probably in the wrong place.
The highlights of this movie are:- Angela Lansbury as 'Granny', who turns in a wonderful performance and really adds a touch of class to the film. Also, the set design and lighting is brilliant, evoking a truly gothic feel to the scenes. For example, most of the movie is based 'outdoors' (like in the woods or in the village), and yet you always get the feeling of an enclosed and somewhat foreboding environment. This feels exactly right given that the story is centred around the character of a young girl, whose world consists solely of the small and familiar surroundings of home, where the outside world is only known to her through the fantastic stories of her Grandmother, where men, wolves and 'straying from the path' are to be feared.
Another, and major, highlight of this movie is the wonderful soundtrack by George Fenton, which is worth having on CD itself. Combining adaptations of traditional folk music with eerie, ominous synth sounds does as much to enhance the gothic atmosphere as the visual effects and set design.
Other than that, the rest of the performances are generally pretty good, especially Neil Jordan's staple actor, Stephen Rea, as well as a fine cameo from Brian Glover and debut from the beautiful and talented Sarah Patterson as the lead charcter 'Rosaleen', who sadly hasn't done much else since as far as I know. The film is also quite famous for it's man-to-wolf scenes and an early use of animatronics. The effects, sadly, do look pretty dated now, but the context of the scenes in which they are used is untainted, and remain powerful scenes both visually and emotionally. The fact that Rosaleen, after witnessing the pain and anquish that such a transition entails, openly weeps and says 'I'm sorry, I didn't know a wolf could cry', is brilliantly emotional and indicative of her almost complete transition from unknowing child, to compassionate and knowing young adult.
All in all, this is a great movie that is so full of rich imagery and subtlety, that it promises to provide great re-watch value, and should not be considered as a 'horror-flick'... unfortunately, most stores don't have a section entitled 'Enchanting fantasy gothic adult fairytale stories'...
Sadly, the DVD isn't great. The packaging is pretty dreadful, with a lame colour drawing adorning the cover. The menu is something straight out of Hammer House Of Horror, and is daft. Annoyingly, the film is in 4:3 aspect ratio, despite a tantalising opening sequence which is in 16:9 widescreen, but sadly, as soon as the film begins proper, we are snapped back into pan and scan...The extras are not wonderful, but there is an extended trailer, which actually contains some different versions of scenes that made it into the final cut. These include a scene where Rosaleen reveals her age (13 and a half), which doesn't appear anywhere in the actual film!
By the way, this great film IS AVAILABLE ON REGION 2, and you can usually pick it up on Amazon Marketplace or ZShops, albeit at a slightly inflated price.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good film but not worth the extra, 6 July 2009
I'm a fan of this film (wonderful atmosphere, riveting special effects, lots of dry humour) but I was disappointed with the Blu-ray. It's not a film that boasts stunning image quality, and it was difficult to see the difference between this and the average standard definition DVD.

As the extras are limited to a director's commentary, I would advise saving some money by purchasing the much cheaper standard DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better pay attention to granny, 21 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Company of Wolves, Neil Jordan's violent retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, is weird, wonderful and gorgeously photographed. It's a story of a young girl's transition to adulthood, with all the sexual awakening and conflicted feelings one might suppose. This part of the story is told with great empathy and imagination. However, be prepared for werewolves, gore, creepy woods and creepy characters. It's hard to tell who's more unsettling, the wolves or granny. A very good movie. The DVD transfer is quite watchable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unforgettable!, 21 April 2003
This has to be one of the most spectactular 80's fantasy movies of the genre.
I first saw this film when it came out on video, and I've been hunting for it ever since.
Red Riding Hood told in a way you have to see to believe.
Angela Lansbury plays Granny, who comes to a gruesome end, (shame!).
Please release this movie on dvd.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visually spectacular and satisfying, 6 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This landmark film from 1984 is a dark interpretation of the well known fairy tale legend, Red Riding Hood. It's focus is on the splendid settings including the murky and dense forests, the wooden cottages where the villagers live in fear and danger posed by man-like beasts that prowl in the night during the testing Freudian times.

The film is composed of several scenarios where vivid and dreamlike sequences take shape creating a very unusual and altered perception of man's ability to determine and grasp fantasy from reality. Every scene is well done thanks to the execution and film direction by Neil Jordan whose original thinking and imagination has led to a superb adaptation based on Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber" book.

The dark, spooky atmosphere in this classic fairy tale re-telling is blessed by the use of ancient folklore and Old Wives tales which hint at casting a spell or curse on anyone who is uncivil to others or society. Angela Lansbury who plays the grandmother spins such stories to a young Rosaleen, a pre-pubescent teenager who is about to go on a journey of self-discovery both emotionally and physically to unravel the hidden delights of adulthood. Despite such tales, the girl is unaffected and her courage takes her to unknown paths through the dark woodlands where her character and judgement will be tested to forecast her values and beliefs she will behold in adulthood. Interactions with unknown strangers, mostly men whose eyebrows meet in the middle lend itself to a powerful experience for the innocent teenager.

In general, this film is more of a fantasy where the excessive blood and gore is barely a feature, and instead the portrayal of genuine, well-mannered men with their hidden devilish, cunning personality is the most threatening aspect and difficult to predict as to when one may strike. As with most modern vampire/werewolf stories, the main attraction that ensures the film's success is the character humour neatly stirred in to give all viewers a general taste and feel of scary and not too scary moments mixed into the plot. Stephen Rea's performance early in the film when he returned home as a filthy, long-haired, smelly hippie after sometime spent outdoors as a wolf had overturned the dining table during an argument - remember the same thing occurred in the 1994 "Interview with the Vampire" movie when a hacked-off silly, bearded, overweight rogue had lost a card game!

As well as the beautifully rendered scenes, the music is well composed which is suspenseful and adds to the eerie, tense atmosphere giving a sense that something is always happening and that there is always darkness and never daylight.
The best thing about this film was that no one could be trusted and anyone who thought they'd make good friends with someone were sure in for a big surprise! The friendly and seductive but sinister Terence Stamp is an example.
The constant nagging, bickering and annoyance by mainly the women towards their husbands or girls constantly rejecting the sexual advances of seemingly-friendly strangers are leads which drive man's desire and anguish to frighteningly transform into the werewolf at full moon . This was the message the film was sending out in that the men during those times were always the one in charge, and care should be exercised whenever household arguments or disagreements broke out to prevent the ultimate beast being unleashed from within himself should the dispute, whatever it may be turn too ugly.

The human-to-werewolf transformation scenes were well filmed and hand-crafted in 1984 and convincing using remote-controlled models for the wolf-like beasts, but compared to today's standards the scenes have shown signs of ageing. However in my opinion, the overuse of today's computer generated images could spoil a horror film making certain scenes look corny or just not believable.

The DVD for the U.K. region 2 is presented in a beautiful black tin box which reflects the show's class. This is now becoming a rarity, and the DVD is now commonly sold in a standard plastic box which is cheaper if purchased on-line. It is shown in 4:3 aspect ratio but not 16:9 widescreen as stated on the box and a good range of extras especially the expert 90 minute audio commentary available, but very well worth the buy. Apart from the DVD film disc, there is an excellent booklet included detailing events that took place behind the cameras, as well as a history of folklore legend and wild beasts, character descriptions and the actors' biographies in brief, all explained with colourful photographs taken from the film.
The running time is 90 minutes, but I felt it should have been a 2 hour-plus epic. It is also rated 18 and suitable for adults only. It is a box of delight and should be treasured forever. For best effect, watch this alone in the dark.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre Blu-ray transfer, 1 July 2011
Being one of my favourite films of all time, I was eagerly awaiting the Blu-ray edition, but was severely disappointed as the quality of Blu-ray transfer. The manufacturer/production company have clearly made no attempt to restore/remaster the frames of film, as there are myriad white, glowing specks springing forth on most scenes. I compared the Blu-ray to the DVD Special Edition I had from 2005 and there is only a fractional improvement in the image resolution with the Blu-ray. To compound matters the DVD Special Edition bizarrely had more extra features. The Blu-ray does have a superior sound stage though, but it's not worth buying it for this alone.

This is not the first time a Blu-ray I've bought has not adequately surpassed the production quality of a DVD. There is no excuse for it, other than profiteering, as older films like Zulu are superlative on Blu-ray. The companies who own the rights to licence films for the Blu-ray market should demonstrate greater conscience and only release films on Blu-ray after a convincing restoration/remastering job from the original film production master.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gothic fantasy take on a classic story, 12 Jun 2003
By 
Touring Mars (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The screenplay of this film was a colloboration between director Neil Jordan (Interview With A Vampire, The Crying Game) and feminist author Angela Carter, and is based upon a short story by Carter from her collection of short stories 'The Bloody Chamber'. This story, in turn, is based upon the classic children's story 'Little Red Riding Hood', but is filled with dark, menacing, and sexual imagery, all of which are used in the screenplay to create this stunning piece of gothic 'horror'.
That said, I always balk when I see this film placed in the 'Horror' section of any store, and cringe whenever I read a synopsis describing this film as a story about werewolves. Both descriptions are very wide of the mark. This is a story about the transition from childhood to adulthood of a teenage girl, and the symbolism throughout the film is subtle and powerful simultaneously. As such, it pretty much goes without saying that if you are looking for a scary movie, you're probably in the wrong place.
The highlights of this movie are:- Angela Lansbury as 'Granny', who turns in a wonderful performance and really adds a touch of class to the film. Also, the set design and lighting is brilliant, evoking a truly gothic feel to the scenes. For example, most of the movie is based 'outdoors' (like in the woods or in the village), and yet you always get the feeling of an enclosed and somewhat foreboding environment. This feels exactly right given that the story is centred around the character of a young girl, whose world consists solely of the small and familiar surroundings of home, where the outside world is only known to her through the fantastic stories of her Grandmother, where men, wolves and 'straying from the path' are to be feared.
Another, and major, highlight of this movie is the wonderful soundtrack by George Fenton, which is worth having on CD itself. Combining adaptations of traditional folk music with eerie, ominous synth sounds does as much to enhance the gothic atmosphere as the visual effects and set design.
Other than that, the rest of the performances are generally pretty good, especially Neil Jordan's staple actor, Stephen Rea, as well as a fine cameo from Brian Glover and debut from the beautiful and talented Sarah Patterson as the lead charcter 'Rosaleen', who sadly hasn't done much else since as far as I know. The film is also quite famous for it's man-to-wolf scenes and an early use of animatronics. The effects, sadly, do look pretty dated now, but the context of the scenes in which they are used is untainted, and remain powerful scenes both visually and emotionally. The fact that Rosaleen, after witnessing the pain and anquish that such a transition entails, openly weeps and says 'I'm sorry, I didn't know a wolf could cry', is brilliantly emotional and indicative of her almost complete transition from unknowing child, to compassionate and knowing young adult.
All in all, this is a great movie that is so full of rich imagery and subtlety, that it promises to provide great re-watch value, and should not be considered as a 'horror-flick'... unfortunately, most stores don't have a section entitled 'Enchanting fantasy gothic adult fairytale stories'...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good wolfish company, 24 Feb 2011
I knew I would love The Company of Wolves because Angela Carter wrote it & Angela Lansbury plays a granny with punch. Like other works by Angela Carter, there are so many symbols, visual puns & conundrums that the whole is a bit less than the sum of all its parts - but gives plenty to speculate & talk about. I happened to see the film 3 times in 2 weeks because of 2 visiting daughters a week apart & I enjoyed it equally all 3 times. I know the lovely little Sarah Patterson only made 2 more films, but why haven't we seen more of Tusse Silberg? I thought she was beautiful & touching as Rosaleen's mother & a perfect foil to the sharp-tongued granny. Even though the set is SO obviously a set - part of the fun - the film still shows more effectively than many on-location epics why people settled together in villages.
Coolest touch - an uncredited Terence Stamp as Mr. Suave Satan in a limo driven by Rosaleen-as-trashy-blonde. Who could resist him? (Not me!)
Cleverest fracture to the traditional fairy tale - the huntsman is also the wolf & we all know Rosaleen knows at once.
Better catch this wolf before the Hollywood remake!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars View as a fairy tale, not a horror film, 18 Oct 2009
By 
Grev (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Company of Wolves was always a film I liked rather than loved... but over the years the more I watched it the more I fell in love with it's theatrical fairy tale world.

If you come to it expecting it to be a horror film, i.e. an out and out gore fest, then chances are you might be underwhelmed: it's famous for the gory sequence of a werewolf slowly ripping itself out of it's human skin, but instead of being an out and out horror film it's basically a series of interlinked short stories based on big bad wolves threatening to eat little girls, which is fairy tale code for strange men having their wicked way with innocent teenage girls. The episodic nature is due it being based on a series of Angela Carter short stories, although the stories are all interlinked (in fact some of them are stories within stories, as told by the grandmother). The sets are fantastically theatrical, Angela Lansbury (yep, she of Murder She Wrote) plays the definitive fairy tale grandmother/fairy godmother, and the more I watch this film the more I love it. It's not perfect, but then again not much is.
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The Company of Wolves Steelbook (Blu-ray + DVD) [1984]
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