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Howler is an American CGI-animated comedy-horror film based on the Howler franchise, being directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. It is produced by Lord Miller Productions, Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Animation Group and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, being released on October 25th, 2019.

Synopsis

Jeffrey Morrison/Howler was once a normal young adult when he ends up getting bitten by a strange wolf that gives him the ability to turn into a werewolf at night. Soon, he ends up meeting a group of supernatural creatures as he encounters a woman who wants all supernatural creatures eradicated, including Howler, as he also struggles with his new double life.

Full plot

In the town of Shadow Falls is a young adult named Jeffrey Morrison, who lives in a one-story house with his father who is obsessed with the supernatural and his mother who is really caring. Jeffrey spends his time in his room while Boris watches a horror movie as Lisa tries to have Boris watch something that isn't supernatural-related. Then, one day, while walking down the sidewalk, receives a phone call from Phillip and Lacey, who then asked him if he wants to go to the park tonight just to hang out. Jeffrey accepts, but ends up stumbling across a woman named Jeanette Helsing due to him being distracted, having himself walk away as Jeanette yells at him.

Later that night, Jeffrey and his friends head out to the park to hang out. However, they end up hearing noises nearby. They investigate, only to see a strange wolf that starts chasing them. While they run off, Jeffrey trips on a rock, causing the wolf to run up to him and bite him on the arm. He becomes extremely shocked to find the bite mark and begs Phillip and Lacey to take him back. As they do so, Jeffrey rushes to the bathroom to treat the bite mark, but begins to notice that for some reason, there is hair growing on his arms, much to his horror. He then rushes out of the house to prevent his parents to see what's happening with him.

While running, he arrives to the dark side of the woods. However, things get worse when he encounters Jeanette and her guards as they were looking for supernatural creatures to eradicate. They then notice Jeffrey and because of the hair that's growing on his skin, they see him as a supernatural and start chasing after him. Suddenly, Jeffrey accidentally falls through a steep forest trail and hits his head on a tree as he then slowly faints as a figure is briefly seen before he completely loses consciousness.

Jeffrey wakes up to find himself in a burrow and encounters a vampire named Bella, two ghost children named George and Georgia, a lynx named Lex, a frankenstein monster named Frank, and a gargoyle named Greg. They all notice that Jeffrey is a werewolf as Jeffrey starts arguing with them, claiming that he is not a werewolf until Georgia reveals a mirror, proving Jeffrey that he indeed is a werewolf, much to his horror. As he freaks out over that, Bella and the others notice the bite mark on Jeffrey's bite mark and ask about it. Jeffrey then explains how he got the bite and how Jeanette and her guards chased him down, which shocks them, as they explained they heard about her and her plans to eradicate every supernatural being, but there is a solution: someone has to be the hero and fight for their lives.

They take Jeffrey to a place where they believe he'll have help using his powers to fight, which is revealed to be a witch hut. He is then introduced to a witch named Wylda, who was testing her potions on two zombies named Zachariah and Zoey. She then sees Bella and the others as they introduce her to Howler. After the explanation, Wylda becomes rather interesting in training Howler how to protect the Shadow Falls forest and decides to train him, only for it to get cut short when a snake-like creature named the Naga enters and kidnaps Bella and the others, giving Howler attention and having him almost screwing up, but ends up defeating Naga successfully, which impresses Wylda and the others. After that, Howler is sent to defeat other supernatural creatures that are claimed to be menaces.

Howler then comes back to tell the others how he did, only to find them completely gone. He starts looking for them, but doesn't see them anywhere. He then encounters the same wolf who bit him earlier, who ends up leading him to where Jeanette took the others: her headquarters. He manages to break in, only to get caught and trapped along with the other supernatural creatures. Jeanette then shows up and reveals how she'll eradicate every single one of them and why she even wants to do so in the first place, revealing her backstory about her parents being killed by one of them. She prepares to eradicate them, but gets stopped when Howler manages to find a way to release everyone, including himself, and starts a fight with Jeanette. He succeeds in defeating her and escapes along with the others.

After the defeat of Jeanette, the Shadow Falls monster rejoice, as a vampire named Mayor Vlad Dracula arrives and declares him as the hero of the Shadow Falls forest. Howler then states that while it's nice to meet everyone in the forest, he should leave now since he has other things to do, but promises to come back whenever they need him, just for Bella to stop him and give him a big kiss before leaving for real.

In the mid-credits scene, one night after the incident, the Naga has been up all night, drawing his plan to kidnap Howler and his friends. After finishing the drawing, he heads out to sleep.

In the post-credits scene, Kris and Kloe are seen staring at Howler hanging out in the forest behind the bushes, talking about how handsome he is.

Voice cast

Differences between the first game and the film

  • In the first Howler game, Howler gained a crush on Bella when he first sees her. In the movie, however, he doesn't show attraction towards her until near the end when Bella gives Howler a big kiss.
  • Kris, Kloe, Jacky, and Rex all appear in this movie even though they debuted in the second Howler game rather than the first one.
  • When Jeanette's flashback began, in the first video game, Desire didn't have dialogue. In the movie, however, she ended up having a couple of lines.

Release

The film has released in theaters on October 25, 2019 while competing with Black and Blue, The Current War, Countdown, The Kill Team, and The Gallows Act II.

Marketing

The first teaser trailer came out on March 11th, 2019. Later, on June 7th, the first official trailer released. Its second official trailer released on July 10th, 2019.

Home media

The movie had its Amazon and iTunes release on January 7th, 2020 and its DVD and Blu-Ray release on January 21st, 2020, with special features showing behind-the-scenes, deleted scenes, and the short film that released along with the film, Courage the Cowardly Dog: Demon Face.

The film will have its television premiere on HBO on June 26th, 2020 and later on basic cable on WB Kids on April-October TBDth, 2021.

The film is available for streaming on Netflix, although it will move to HBO Max shortly after its launch.

Rating

This film is rated PG for mild violence, thematic elements, and brief scary images.

Critical response

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, viewers, and fans of the Howler franchise. On CinemaScore, it was given a "B+" Cinemascore. It also had a 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, an 81/100 on Metacritic, and an 8.1/10 on IMDb.

Accolades

Sequel

See Howler and the Misery Bringer.

On October 4th, according to Christopher Miller, he tweeted that he thinks if Howler does well, there is a chance it could get a sequel. Then, on November 13th, Phil Lord made another tweet, saying that if Howler does get a sequel, it would very likely not be a remake of a pre-existing Howler game, but rather something different.

Amongst the characters who weren't introduced in the first movie, both Lord and Miller have shown interest in introducing Liz as well as an original villain as the sequel's main antagonist.

On January 15th, 2020, a sequel has been confirmed to be in production and is currently aiming for a 2021 or 2022 release.

On April 24th, 2020, Warner Bros. posted the official title, being Howler and the Misery Bringer.

Promotions

On July 5, 2019, it was announced that Coca-Cola will release a new limited flavor called Freaky Fruit to promote the Howler film, and has released in stores on July 10th, and will continue being sold until November 1st.

On October 2019, Blue Bunny was selling Howler ice cream bars.

On October 14th, 2019, McDonald's was selling Howler trick-or-treat buckets as part of their Happy Meal.

Variants

  • Warner Bros. Pictures/Warner Animation Group: the first part of the logo plays normally, but after the WB shield is revealed, the sky is shown to be dark and cloudy.
  • Village Roadshow Pictures: The logo also shows the sky to be dark and cloudy.

Quotes

  • George: (looking at Howler) ...What do you think it is?
  • Greg: Looks like a bear if you ask me.
  • George: Really? He looks more like a dog.
  • Howler: Whatever you guys are, I'm a-
  • Frank: (laughs) It's a cat!
  • Georgia: Oh, for goodness' sake! He's OBVIOUSLY a werewolf!
  • Howler: (confused) What? No, I'm not! I'm a human- (looks at his arms) Wait, what?

(Georgia grabs out a mirror)

  • Howler: This makes no sense! Wait... the hair growing on my arms... am I... (looks at the mirror Georgia is holding, then screams) I'm a hideous monster!

He starts crying as Bella tries to comfort him.


  • Bella: Why are you doing this in the first place? What have we even done to make you hate us?
  • Jeanette: ... (reveals a picture of a couple and a little girl) You see this picture? (points to the little girl) That little girl is me.
  • George: Aw...
  • Jeanette: (points to the couple) And that couple you see behind me... are my parents.
  • Bella: Well, what about them?
  • Jeanette: Let's just say, when I was young, some idiotic monsters just like you... carried my parents off.
  • Greg: ...To the circus?
  • Jeanette: THEY WERE MURDERED, YOU IDIOT!

Howler and Bella gasp shocked.

  • Howler: How so?
  • Jeanette: ...Do I really have to explain?

Trivia

  • It is revealed that this film will be a re-telling of how Howler came to be, though there will be a few differences in this movie.
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