If you need a break from films that rely more heavily on CGI than on a well-written script, it may be time for a viewing of “The Company of Wolves.” Best classified as a fantasy with horror overtones, this 1984 movie enters the elaborate dream-world of an adolescent girl.
This movie is not for the passive viewer. Highly symbolic imagery plays an important part in the narrative, and viewers are frequently tossed from real world, to dream-world, to stories within the dream. Because much of the imagery is left to speak for itself without overt explanation, the typical film viewer may finish this movie feeling confused and unfulfilled.
Wrought with themes of shedding the implements of childhood, sexual awakening, and the dangers of adulthood, the move is based on a short story of the same title by Angela Carter. Carter cowrote the script with director Neil Jordan. Carter was perhaps best known for rewriting classic fairy-tales with a feminist twist, “The Company of Wolves” treats viewers to a sampling of 5 such tales within her robust retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Audiences must tolerate some dated special effects, minimal overacting, and some “wolves” that are quite obviously dogs. However, the set and costuming still succeed at creating a haunting atmosphere that in many ways feels more real than more modern fantasy flicks.