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The Howling

With only one horror feature under his belt (2013’s Mama) Andy Muschietti delivered the biggest movie the genre had ever seen with IT. The director will soon complete his adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, which was previously adapted for a 1990 mini-series, with September’s IT Chapter Two. While it seems he is stepping out of the horror realm for his next film, Andy Muschietti still has another horror remake in mind.

While at the ScareDiego event at San Diego Comic-Con, attended by CinemaBlend, Andy Muschietti was asked what horror film he would remake and reinvent if he could. Digging deep into the horror well and showing his fandom for the genre, Andy Muschietti responded that he would remake The Howling. The director cited the 1981 film, noting that modern audiences aren’t as familiar with The Howling as they perhaps are with other bigger name horror franchises.

In theory, that lack of familiarity would confer several advantages. It would invite fewer comparisons to the original and hopefully surprise more audiences than remakes where everyone is waiting for certain beats. It would also allow Andy Muschietti greater latitude to tell an original story without as many concerns about being faithful. Plus, he could bring a story that he is clearly fond of to a new audience.

For those unfamiliar, The Howling is a 1981 film from director Joe Dante, a pillar of the 1980s who also directed Gremlins, Explorers and The ‘Burbs, as well as stuff like Small Soldiers and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. The Howling is based on the novel of the same name by Gary Brandner and tells the story of a Los Angeles news anchor named Karen White who is being stalked by a serial killer.

After helping to take down the serial killer in a sting operation, Karen suffers amnesia and is sent to a remote resort with her husband for treatment and recovery. There’s a lot of other weird stuff that happens, but basically she discovers that the commune is full of werewolves.

You can check out the trailer for The Howling below.

The Howling spawned six sequels, running from 1985-1995. The property did get an attempt at a reboot with 2011’s The Howling: Reborn, but that direct to video film wasn’t seen by a lot of people and didn’t bring the series back to prominence, so a remake is still warranted.

You’ve got to think that Andy Muschietti probably has some fun ideas on how to update The Howling for a modern audience. While the practical effects used in the original were stunning for their time, a remake could presumably improve upon them. Although I would hope that practical would still be used whenever possible in lieu of the easy way out with CGI.

Werewolves don’t really seem to be taking part in our ongoing horror renaissance and that’s a shame. So it would be cool to see a remake of The Howling from a director of the caliber of Andy Muschietti to help elevate the werewolf sub-genre once again.

In this age of everything getting remade or rebooted, particularly in the horror genre, it’s only a matter of time until it happens for The Howling. Whether Andy Muschietti directs it though is less certain. Following IT Chapter Two, Andy Muschietti is expected to direct The Flash for Warner Bros. and he is also attached to the anime adaptation Attack on Titan. So assuming those both happen, he has his plate full for a while.

IT Chapter Two opens in theaters on September 6. Check out our premiere guide to prep for all of this year’s biggest movies and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest horror news.

It: Chapter 2 | What We Know So Far

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