The story unfolds as young rosaleen lies dreaming in her bed. A violent nightmare transports her back in time to a world of primeval forests & werewolves. She learns her only sister has been killed by a wolf. Her granny we... more »aves vivid tales of folklore & fantasy with warnings of beasts that lurk within men. Studio: Henstooth Video Release Date: 10/15/2002 Starring: Sarah Patterson Angela Lansbury Run time: 92 minutes Rating: R Director: Neil Jordan« less
"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.The DVD is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. First of all, it's not widescreen (although oddly the title sequence at the beginning is!) which is a real shame. Also, the menu navigation is pretty tacky and amatuerish. Indeed, even the inlay and cover leave something to be desired. The tagline, which goes something like, "In the dead of night, the beast is unleashed!" is as misleading as it is cringe-worthy, and sounds like it was probably written by someone who has only seen excerpts of the movie once, as opposed to someone like me who has seen this film over 50 times! A plus for the DVD is the 'Promotional Video' which is basically an extended trailer (around 20 minutes long), and is interesting as it contains many scenes that differ slightly from the film itself. In this video, Rosaleen reveals that she is twelve and three-quarter years old, a fact that is not mentioned in the short story or the finished movie!All in all, this is a great movie, if not a great DVD, 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'..."
C. A Baker | Santa Rosa CA United States | 07/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FINALLY this is on DVD, or will be soon. What a beautiful and mysterious film this is. Based on several of Angela Carter's short stories(she also did the screen play for this film) this film deals with maturity, sex and mythology in a truly facinating way.
One of the early films for Neil Jordon(Crying Game) and just brilliantly done. Full of magic the story has brief opening and closing sequences in the modern world while the majority takes place in the world of fairy tales. Using the the tale of Red Riding Hood as well as Werewolf mythos and the blooming maturity of a young girl the metaphors and mysterious landscape is truly marvelous.
With dark and haunting score by George Fenton(Ever After) this film has everything for the true fan of what fairy tales are supposed to be, a lesson for those too foolish to listen.
Angela Lansbury is Red's granny and plays a rolle not the norm for this icon of old and new Hollywood. It is truly an original film and not a story for young children."As your pretty, so be wise, wolves may lurk in any guise. Now, as then, tis simple truth; sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth.""
As You're Pretty, So Be Wise.....
Daniel V. Reilly | Upstate New York, United States | 03/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw The Company of Wolves with my best friend Bryan when we were both thirteen, and I must confess, we both left the theater totally perplexed. What the hell did we just see? With almost twenty years more maturity under my belt, and having seen (And loved!) most of Director Neil Jordan's films, I decided to give "Company" another try... It's still a deeply challenging film. The story is basically a fever-dream committed to film. Rosaleen is a young girl on the cusp of becoming a young woman. Her dreams place her in a fairy-tale land where her older sister has strayed from the path and been killed by a pack of wolves. Rosaleen's Granny (The excellent Angela Lansbury) tries to teach her about the ways of wolves (and men...), but will Rosaleen listen? Her burgeoning sexuality is about to lead her off the path, and into the arms of a big bad wolf.... The film is absolutely drenched in rich symbolism and deep parables that resonate strongly in this day of seemingly commonplace child abductions. As Rosaleen's family strives to keep her safe, they must also deal with her desire to forge her own path in life. Director Neil Jordan has crafted a film that rewards multiple viewings, adapting Angela Carter's stories to great effect. The colors are simply gorgeous to look at, and the sets and effects are staggeringly effective. The performances are marvelously understated, and Terrence Stamp steals the show in an all-too-brief cameo. Sarah Patterson plays young Rosaleen, and does a great job. Her recitation of the closing quotation is superbly chilling. The disc comes with a photo gallery, promo reel, and trailer. Highly recommended for horror fans who are sick of screaming teens running from knife-wielding maniacs...."
Dazzling in it's darkness
moongrenadine | high point, NC | 11/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"long before tim burton released his beloved sleepy hollow and just on year before silver bullet, neil jordan had released his little known but rich little masterpiece which most of us have perhaps forgotten over the years. let's get a few things straight before we begin though. no, this is not one of the cutesy, cool horror films like scream which will have teenagers bouncing off the wall nor is company a gentle fairytale for the younger audience. neil jordan and angela carter have fabricated a vivid but nightmarish atmospheric drama which literally takes a wicked twist on the classic little red riding hood story. what not to like? angela lansbury is wonderful as always but our young actress sarah patterson also makes a splendid young rosaleen dressed in soft red wool. in comparison to most horror films, this wonderful film is perhaps less gory but nevertheless still has the power to haunt and to provoke while holding you breathless in it's beauty. imagine your favorite classic horror films and what they migth've been like with a bit more fantasy or perhaps had they been a bit more visual. while the film has no explicit sex, it is evident throughout the whole film that director neil jordan had orignally intended to make a movie which would completely explore the mysterious relationships between man and woman. he clearly identifies strengths, weaknesses, fears, and longing as if he were a psychology teacher and we were the students. thus, perhaps this is the most intellectual werewolf flick ever made and it's release on dvd is long overdue. many kudos to hen's tooth for seeing fit to bring this wonderful film back into our lives on both dvd and video for those who have not yet completely converted to dvd."
Better pay attention to granny
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 05/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."