My biggest problem with the Howling franchise is the disconnect from the book series of the same name by Gary Brandner. Howling IV The Original Nightmare (1988) is somewhat closer to the books, though there’s still a considerable gap between the two.
The silliness of the second and third movies evaporates completely in this one. It is edgier than those too as well, more like the first in that aspect. The creepiness is there in almost every scene, though it does take quite some time as Marie tries to prove that she’s not bat-shit crazy.
The mystery of what happened and is about to happen unravels at a snail’s pace, though it is dark and foreboding throughout. The 1980s porn aspects made me laugh a few times when I expected the actors to forget which set they were on; now that would’ve been a pivot in the story.
When the werewolves are introduced, I’m happy because I’m a huge fan. The weird thing is when Marie’s husband Richard transforms; I won’t spoil it if it’s been a while since you’ve seen it or not at all. I will say that I’ve never seen anything like it in a werewolf film.
Howling IV The Original Nightmare gets the franchise back on track from the previous two flops, and I enjoyed it immensely. I gladly give this one 4 out of 5 Stars.