The Howling – Fight Or Flight, Or Just Stand There

One thing every horror fan cannot live without are movie tropes! Horror is full of them and we love every single one, which is real tough because I don’t think there is a definitive list. One trope that we’re all aware of are the elongated transformation scenes. Those moments in film where a person transforms into a monster or gets infected and slowly dies. This trope is a common occurrence and might be one of the most well known. Tropes like this work well with horror because transformation scenes are a good way of showing off the effects. It’s a shining moment of a film that everyone remembers.

Examples of this kind of trope would be 1931’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or any werewolf movie ever made. One transformation that completely rocks is 1981’s The Howling. It’s a crown jewel of 80’s horror that will always stand out as a terrifying moment.

I actually remember this scene as one of the very first displays of horror I ever saw. I was maybe three or four years old and it completely wrecked me. We were visiting my grandfather for a couple days and it was always great because he had HBO. To an 80’s kid, that is one of the best things ever! My grandfather was a total bad ass!

So it was late one night and my father was in the front family room watching The Howling with my grandpa and two uncles. Us kids were elsewhere playing with toys and getting ready for bed. I was in my Thundercats pajamas with the glowing Lion-O and things were awesome! My grandpa and grandma got me this awesome toy called Air Raiders and I loved this thing! It had rockets you could shoot by blowing into a small tube! Later, I made my way to the front of the house and my father beckoned me over. I stood there and witnessed this scene. I actually remember crying… but not til the scene was completely over. So I watch the entire thing in wonder and then cried like a little bitch! Even after this, for years I kept having nightmares where Eddie Quist corners me in a room and turns into a werewolf. This scene plays over and over again and just like Karen White, I just stand there. As stupid and useless as a cum filled sock! Which leads me into another point.

Another Trope?

If a common horror trope is the elongated transformation then how about the trope of the moron watching the entire metamorphosis? If a guy is turning into a monster, don’t watch the bastard turn and then kill you! Run like hell and get out of there! It’s always odd how Karen just watches this entire process and we see this all over. Think of music video for Thriller. Michael Jackson is walking in the woods with the young girl. After telling her he loves her, he then starts to turn into a werewolf. But the girl just watches him and screams the entire time! RUN BITCH RUN! This Howling scene in just the same and the scene takes over three minutes! Three minutes of time for this lady to bail! Sure it’s awesome but it boggles my brain that the lady doesn’t run. This is a trope that might be the funniest because the entire time, we’re all yelling at the screen “RUN BITCH RUN!”

3 Comments Add yours

  1. On the other hand some of the transformations are so great can you really blame the witness for wanting to watch it to the end? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      That is absolutely correct!


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