Werewolves have a long history in both human folklore and cinema. The idea of a human who shapeshifts into a wolf (or wolf-like humanoid) has terrified us since the belief in lycanthropy began around 27 A.D. Around the turn of the century, Teen Wolf and Twilight popularized werewolves again, although they never get the shine #TeamJacob thinks they deserve.
Check out the 20 best movies about werewolves made prior to 2020.
20. Red Riding Hood (2011)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros hoped this Amanda Seyfried-led retelling of the classic folk tale with serious undertones would capitalize on Disney’s movement. It didn’t, but it’s a great werewolf movie nonetheless.
19. Love Bite (2012)
An underrated horror comedy about a traveling woman giving love bites forces a young man to lose his virginity fosr safety.
18. Cursed (2004)
A pair of L.A siblings (played by Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg) are attacked by a werewolf while helping an old woman in an accident. Now they’re wolves themselves.
17. Wolf (1994)
Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer’s mid-90s werewolf romance is critically acclaimed, despite being dreadfully boring. Still, it’s a great werewolf film for the era.
16. Ginger Snaps (2000)
This Canadian horror follows two outcast sisters (Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins) struggling to survive after one is attacked by a wolf on her first period. Now she’s becoming a wolf and may kill her sister.
15. Dog Soldiers (2002)
The Predator...but with British soldiers and werewolves.
14. The Twilight Saga (2008-2012)
Underworld…but for 15-year-old-girls…
13. Full Moon High (1981)
An underrated classic about a man bitten by a werewolf while on a family vacation in Transylvania.
12. The Wolfman (2010)
11. The Underworld Franchise (2003-)
Twilight for everyone who’s not a 15-year-old girl.
10. Teen Wolf Series (1985-2017)
This campy Michael J. Fox vehicle is 80s nostalgia for those who remember further back than the MTV series. Let’s also not forget the Jason Bateman sequel that swaps basketball for boxing and upgrades the TV star kid to college.
The Brits have the best werewolf movies, as evidenced by this direct-to-video indie classic.
8. Blood & Chocolate (2007)
An overlooked werewolf movie about a young Romanian werewolf whose family was slaughtered by hunters.
7. An American Werewolf in London (1981)/Paris (1997)
This pair of movies follows a group of American tourists on a European trip when one of them becomes a werewolf. It’s a metaphor.
6. WolfCop (2014)
A campy throwback to the Incredible Hulk was released in Canada and is worth a watch for the premise alone. There’s also Another WolfCop,if you’re craving a sequel by the time you’re done.
5. The Company of Wolves (1984)
A cerebral retelling of the red riding hood story that feels like Edgar Allen Poe’s take on it.
4. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
Another British werewolf film, and the earliest you should probably watch.
3. Wer (2013)
Modern remake that almost seems to glorify and immortalize real-life cannibal Issei Sagawa (aka Pang), a Japanese man living in Paris.
2. Late Phases (2014)
An American Mexican werewolf horror story set in a secluded retirement community ravaged by mysterious killings. A war vet comes in to hunt the wolf down.
1. The Howling (1981)
An L.A. broadcast journalist is traumatized by a serial killer story and is sent to a mountain resort inhabited by werewolves. The film’s success spawned 7 sequels and got director Joe Dante a gig on Gremlins.