The Company of Wolves | Chicago Reader

The Company of Wolves

This 1985 British horror film is much too sophisticated for the mass-market play-off it got in the States; as a self-conscious application of the folktale theories of Claude Levi-Strauss and Bruno Bettelheim to the ancient tale of “Little Red Riding Hood,” it may even be a little too sophisticated for its own good. It's well worth seeing, though: director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) brings a seductively dark, detailed, and jumpy style to the collection of story fragments and werewolf lore that constitutes the scenario, and the leaps back and forth through time and between different versions of the universal story keep the movie ripping along. A droll wit spaces out the well-filmed shocks, yet the presentation never entirely escapes a certain predigested quality (the incidents are linked as the dream of a young girl experiencing her first period) that cuts short the pleasure of interpretation. With Angela Lansbury as an oppressive superego/grandma, David Warner, and Terence Stamp. R, 95 min.

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