(Photo by Universal, Avco Embassy, Cannon Films, Summit Entertainment, Unapix Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection)

The 25 Essential Werewolf Movies To Watch Right Now

Werewolves haven’t had the same pop cultural penetration as their fright-night brethren like zombies, vampires, and the assortment of slasher villains, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have movies worth howling for. As with most movie monsters, the earliest efforts in the genre are among the best, as they open audience eyes to previously unseen worlds of terror, and illuminate a future of sequels, ripoffs, and remakes. 1941’s The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney Jr., remains the fast and furriest, though we also pay tribute to its 1935 progenitor Werewolf of London.

Since ol’ Wolfy got a late start compared to other Universal Classic Monsters, at a time when their influence was beginning to wane, the studio was quick to put him in crossover sequels that were the style at the time. 1940s movies like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and The House of Frankenstein saw Chaney doing his best in a crowded cast.

Things frankly got quiet for a few decades, until in 1981 no less than three influential werewolf movies came out: Wolfen, The Howling, and An American Werewolf in London. Being back in the spotlight, and this being the ’80s, of course werewolves also got a teen comedy (Teen Wolf) and a kid-friendly romp (The Monster Squad).

Highlights since that ’80s heyday include the feminist deconstruction Ginger Snaps, action-packed Dog Soldiers, and getting the sexy treatment in both Underworld and Twilight. Werewolves were also memorably featured in Trick ‘r Treat, but since they were only one part of the movie, we’re listing it lower on the list for not going full werewolf.

If it’s a bright night out with a full moon, then you know what that means: Barricade the door, smelt all the silver in the house down into bullets, and get ready for a fur-flyin’ fight. That, or just check out our guide to the 25 Essential Werewolf Movies and settle in for a howling good time.

#25
Adjusted Score: 26.922%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this fifth film in Universal's "Frankenstein" series, Larry Talbot, alias The Wolf Man, is brought back to the land... [More]
Directed By: Roy William Neill

#24

Bad Moon (1996)
33%

#24
Adjusted Score: 19.967%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: While on assignment in the jungles of Nepal, photojournalist Ted Harrison (Michael Pare) and his girlfriend are savagely attacked by... [More]
Directed By: Eric Red

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 36.849%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After injecting new life into classic movie monsters Dracula and Frankenstein, Hammer Studios apply their Gothic touch to another monster... [More]
Directed By: Terence Fisher

#22
Adjusted Score: 45.76%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this horror film, based on the novella Cycle of the Werewolf, by Stephen King, a werewolf is terrorizing a... [More]
Directed By: Daniel Attias

#21

Van Helsing (2004)
24%

#21
Adjusted Score: 30.454%
Critics Consensus: A hollow creature feature that suffers from CGI overload.
Synopsis: The greatest monster hunter of them all has his work cut out for him as he tracks down three deadly... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Sommers

#20

Trick 'r Treat (2007)
81%

#20
Adjusted Score: 80.562%
Critics Consensus: A deftly crafted tribute to Halloween legends, Trick 'r' Treat hits all the genre marks with gusto and old fashioned suspense.
Synopsis: Prolific director Bryan Singer takes a turn towards horror as the producer of this Halloween shocker directed by X2 and... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

#19
#19
Adjusted Score: 63.443%
Critics Consensus: A fun '80s adventure with a slightly scary twist, The Monster Squad offers tween-friendly horror with just enough of a kick.
Synopsis: A quintet of classic movie monsters invades a small town looking for a lost amulet that will help them rule... [More]
Directed By: Fred Dekker

#18

Another WolfCop (2017)
69%

#18
Adjusted Score: 50.702%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces Woodhaven's residents with a... [More]
Directed By: Lowell Dean

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 55.901%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In many ways the most endearing of Universal's B-grade "monster rallies" of the 1940s, House of Frankenstein manages within its... [More]
Directed By: Erle C. Kenton

#16
Adjusted Score: 35.421%
Critics Consensus: The Twilight Saga's second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.
Synopsis: The supernatural tale of star-crossed lovers continues as the Cullen family flees Forks in order to protect Bella (Kristen Stewart),... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz

#15

Underworld (2003)
31%

#15
Adjusted Score: 35.435%
Critics Consensus: Though stylish to look at, Underworld is tedious and derivative.
Synopsis: A young man who has pledged his life to helping others finds himself in a pitched battle between two gangs... [More]
Directed By: Len Wiseman

#14
Adjusted Score: 46.441%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The feminist horror film genre might not have very many prominent entries, but the critically acclaimed 2000 film Ginger Snaps... [More]
Directed By: Brett Sullivan

#13

Teen Wolf (1985)
42%

#13
Adjusted Score: 43.904%
Critics Consensus: Though Michael J. Fox is as charismatic as ever, Teen Wolf's coming-of-age themes can't help but feel a little stale and formulaic.
Synopsis: After sitting on the shelf for some time, Teen Wolf was released on the heels of the hugely successful Back... [More]
Directed By: Rod Daniel

#12

Howl (2015)
67%

#12
Adjusted Score: 42.594%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young ambitious ticket collector Joe is overseeing the last train out of London on a dark and stormy night -... [More]
Directed By: Paul Hyett

#11

Late Phases (2014)
63%

#11
Adjusted Score: 52.783%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Crescent Bay is not the ideal place to spend one's golden years, especially since the once-idyllic retirement community has been... [More]

#10

WolfCop (2014)
65%

#10
Adjusted Score: 57.325%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's not unusual for alcoholic cop Lou to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, but lately things have... [More]
Directed By: Lowell Dean

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 79.133%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When English botanist Dr. Glendon travels to Tibet in search of the mysterious marifasa plant, he encounters a strange wolf-like... [More]

#8

Wolf (1994)
61%

#8
Adjusted Score: 64.124%
Critics Consensus: Wolf misses the jugular after showing flashes of killer instinct early on, but engaging stars and deft direction make this a unique horror-romance worth watching.
Synopsis: Jack Nicholson becomes a werewolf in this bizarre comedy-horror film directed by Mike Nichols. Nicholson plays Will Randall, a book... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#7

Wolfen (1981)
75%

#7
Adjusted Score: 76.231%
Critics Consensus: Police procedural meets werewolf flick in Wolfen, a creepy creature feature with a surprisingly profound side.
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Whitley Strieber, a wealthy land developer and his wife are viciously murdered in the South... [More]
Directed By: Michael Wadleigh

#6

The Howling (1981)
69%

#6
Adjusted Score: 71.346%
Critics Consensus: The Howling packs enough laughs into its lycanthropic carnage to distinguish it from other werewolf entries, with impressive visual effects adding some bite.
Synopsis: This groundbreaking, darkly comic horror film from director Joe Dante changed the look and feel of werewolf movies in ways... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#5

Dog Soldiers (2002)
79%

#5
Adjusted Score: 79.264%
Critics Consensus: Frightening, funny, and packed with action, Dog Soldiers is well worth checking out for genre fans -- and marks writer-director Neil Marshall as a talent to keep an eye on.
Synopsis: British director Neil Marshall's directorial debut Dog Soldiers resurrects and embraces the low-budget horror-comedy. Sergeant Harry Wells (Sean Pertwee) leads... [More]
Directed By: Neil Marshall

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 80.399%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After hearing her grandmother's stories about dangerous men, a 13-year-old girl has nightmares that transform her into Little Red Riding... [More]
Directed By: Neil Jordan

#3

Ginger Snaps (2001)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 90.196%
Critics Consensus: The strong female cast and biting satire of teenage life makes Ginger Snaps far more memorable than your average werewolf movie -- or teen flick.
Synopsis: In this modern werewolf tale, sisters Ginger and Brigitte are ostracized by their town because of their morbid inclinations. Soon... [More]
Directed By: John Fawcett

#2
Adjusted Score: 91.02%
Critics Consensus: Terrifying and funny in almost equal measure, John Landis' horror-comedy crosses genres while introducing Rick Baker's astounding make-up effects.
Synopsis: While wandering the English moors on vacation, college yanks David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) happen upon a quaint... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#1

The Wolf Man (1941)
90%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96.3%
Critics Consensus: A handsomely told tale with an affecting performance from Lon Chaney, Jr., The Wolf Man remains one of the classics of the Universal horror stable.
Synopsis: "Even a man who is pure at heart/And says his prayers by night/May become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms/And... [More]
Directed By: George Waggner

Tag Cloud

free movies universal monsters movies National Geographic binge ghosts italian Emmys Baby Yoda halloween tv FX Endgame based on movie LGBTQ news FXX Sundance Now fast and furious Horror classics Rocky Fantasy reviews cops mission: impossible Pop TV MSNBC asian-american Marvel 4/20 Marvel Studios Schedule psycho See It Skip It obituary worst movies directors YouTube Premium screen actors guild Elton John a nightmare on elm street Discovery Channel cats films satire joker PaleyFest jamie lee curtis dark 21st Century Fox DC Universe E! ITV Sundance TV Polls and Games twilight video on demand IFC E3 Box Office Superheroes werewolf Pet Sematary Turner Superheroe Family Star Trek Election Ovation documentaries Nickelodeon south america TLC discovery transformers nbcuniversal blaxploitation series Biopics Apple TV Plus documentary Trivia Sony Pictures comics The Witch DC Comics Captain marvel remakes Hear Us Out Shondaland teaser Walt Disney Pictures Mindy Kaling game show zombies MCU spanish language GIFs christmas movies disaster Stephen King Trailer period drama political drama Awards Tour Quiz franchise social media Hulu thriller Food Network laika Disney Channel medical drama mockumentary Women's History Month Emmy Nominations Drama Comics on TV Lifetime independent Paramount Network Ellie Kemper Disney+ Disney Plus NBC composers TCM stop motion BBC television Musicals scary movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt anime Avengers ratings book Nat Geo 2019 BBC One Tubi screenings best 72 Emmy Awards facebook indiana jones technology harry potter Lucasfilm spain First Look President Fox News superhero Podcast cancelled television foreign Photos singing competition biography Pride Month Pixar natural history WGN APB Universal CBS Watching Series Showtime spider-man Winter TV Winners hist 2018 Sundance Cosplay cancelled TV series Crunchyroll video australia DGA Mudbound dramedy cancelled TV shows Disney streaming service ABC Family Peacock dragons 2015 Reality TCA Awards GLAAD First Reviews Comedy Central Epix Brie Larson Disney Plus TIFF stand-up comedy Anna Paquin Best and Worst Nominations Television Critics Association Paramount Toys boxoffice Lifetime Christmas movies Black Mirror TCA 2017 PlayStation GoT Columbia Pictures science fiction Animation ABC Valentine's Day Year in Review toy story Teen 2016 Pop vampires History award winner scorecard romantic comedy Holiday Star Wars hollywood Mary Tyler Moore Black History Month sequels Adult Swim supernatural Cartoon Network crime thriller Vudu Syfy Video Games Film Festival rotten movies we love Reality Competition toronto Rom-Com historical drama Country game of thrones Summer LGBT adaptation dogs spinoff canceled TV shows name the review Western child's play reboot Holidays nfl Logo adventure TV Land Calendar Tumblr USA Network Amazon Prime Video MTV versus Mary poppins concert SDCC comedies TV renewals FOX aliens Starz cinemax Rock comiccon venice 007 Countdown Rocketman quibi Spring TV dceu Ghostbusters Mystery Marathons Character Guide docudrama travel 2020 45 BAFTA The Academy Martial Arts sports die hard ESPN Travel Channel kids Fox Searchlight NYCC New York Comic Con cars Sneak Peek tv talk HBO Go Spectrum Originals 2017 Pirates space San Diego Comic-Con mutant unscripted football robots 20th Century Fox psychological thriller Music X-Men CW Seed slashers doctor who worst Dark Horse Comics hispanic Masterpiece witnail 71st Emmy Awards AMC talk show OneApp PBS Bravo Interview Grammys Television Academy french Certified Fresh parents Trophy Talk sequel Amazon VICE Action Funimation dc sitcom Chernobyl Heroines festivals renewed TV shows CMT romance OWN cults stoner crime Christmas elevated horror Hallmark Red Carpet Turner Classic Movies what to watch Lionsgate spanish sag awards Musical festival Awards miniseries YouTube Red IFC Films FX on Hulu indie green book strong female leads blockbuster CBS All Access Premiere Dates Britbox crossover Tarantino BBC America halloween anthology Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Shudder criterion Classic Film casting politics spy thriller Netflix Infographic Binge Guide batman Acorn TV VOD zombie children's TV Disney Sci-Fi Set visit animated diversity A24 latino Hallmark Christmas movies USA serial killer cancelled CNN American Society of Cinematographers streaming theme song Freeform cooking movie Oscars Song of Ice and Fire revenge SXSW crime drama Super Bowl HBO TruTV YouTube Apple nature HBO Max all-time archives TNT Marvel Television El Rey TBS true crime Crackle chucky Netflix Christmas movies japanese Tomatazos Writers Guild of America RT21 Academy Awards Cannes comic rotten zero dark thirty SundanceTV The Arrangement Spike Mary Poppins Returns The Walking Dead emmy awards Opinion The Purge Fall TV canceled cartoon richard e. Grant VH1 BET Thanksgiving Apple TV+ Comic Book Film TV BET Awards golden globes breaking bad The CW Arrowverse Extras Amazon Studios DC streaming service WarnerMedia Esquire TCA DirecTV RT History Creative Arts Emmys A&E TCA Winter 2020 finale war justice league YA 24 frames Kids & Family Warner Bros. Comedy Amazon Prime police drama critics