Company of Wolves, The (1984)

The Company of Wolves (1984), directed by Neil Jordan.

The cover art misrepresents this as a werewolf horror film. There are wolves that turn into men and back again, but no creatures in-between. It's actually an atmospheric dream fantasy. The grisly animatronic transformations seem out of place, although perhaps they add a nightmare dimension. I would have dropped them.

Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson, said to be age 12 -- that can't be right) tosses restlessly in her sleep, her dreams filled with objects from her room. The dreams are symbolically about sex and the transition every adolescent girl has to make: how long does she stay at home with the stuffed animals, and when does she get out of the house, leave the safe forest path and run with the wolves?

She has several stories, all filled with strange dream logic:

The limited budget and studio-bound staging give it a rather good dream-like and storybook appearance. The George Fenton score, once you subtract the bizarro magic bits, is wonderful. I still hum the main theme after all these years.

The final scene does not make much sense: she wakes up and real wolves charge into her bedroom. Maybe that means the dangers are in reality and not just in dreams, but of course wolf bedroom invasions don't happen in reality. So the ending is a just a completely different fantasy.

The DVD is 4:3 letterboxed but retains the 1.66:1 original aspect ratio. The UK R2 PAL disc is anamorphic and said to have a director's commentary. A Blu-ray import is available, but comments indicate it is of indifferent quality.