The Howling is a 2023 American horror film directed by Fede Alvarez, who is known for his work on Evil Dead (2013), as well as Don't Breathe. It stars Jane Levy, Gary Oldman, Teddy Sears, James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Sarah Stephens, and Daniel ZoVatto in primary roles. The story focuses on a young and ambitious reporter who is left traumatized by her experience with a hedonistic serial killer and is sent to a retreat in the mountains of California with her husband, only to discover the place is populated by werewolves. The film is noted for its violence and gore. This is also another time Jane Levy has worked with Alvarez, having starred as Mia Allen in Evil Dead and Rocky in Don't Breathe. ZoVatto is well known for his own acting contributions to the genre, having played in the films Beneath, It Follows, and Don't Breathe with Jane Levy as well. It was produced by Lions Gate.
Karen White is a young Los Angeles news reporter, who is raped and nearly murdered in her home by Eddie Quist, a hedonist and serial killer. The encounter leaves her deeply traumatized, though she is relieved when she learns that Quist has been killed by the police. Although Quist is dead, Karen is still suffering issues such as nightmares and amnesia. She is sent by her psychiatrist, Dr. George Wagner, to Drago, a small commune located in the mountains of California.
Upon arrival, Karen and her husband Roy are introduced to the eccentric inhabitants of the town, most notably a nymphomaniac named Marcia. During their stay, Karen is unnerved by noises in the woods near their cottage. This causes more issues in her relationship with Roy, who begins a sexual relationship with Marcia. Eventually, Roy is attacked and wounded by a monstrous entity lurking in the woods. When Karen discovers this, she quickly contacts her friend and co-worker Terri Fisher for help. Terri makes her way to the commune, where she begins investigating. Meanwhile, Roy meets up with Marcia in the surrounding woods and the two begin having sex, before they become werewolves.
Terri investigates Dr. Wagner's offices the following morning, but is ambushed by a werewolf. The monster attacks Terri, who fights back by throwing a chemical in the thing's face, disfiguring it in the process. She escapes through a window and into the woods, but is quickly caught and disemboweled. Unnerved by Terri's sudden disappearance, Karen calls up Terri's boyfriend Chris Halloran, who quickly arrives at the commune.
Karen is ambushed by Eddie Quist, who is revealed to have survived. She notices burn scars across his face and eyes, revealing him to be the same werewolf that murdered Terri. Karen severs his hand with an axe, before escaping. He pursues her through the woods and back to her cottage, where she barricades the door. Chris arrives, having been summoned by Karen, and kills Quist by shooting him with metallic bullets.
Karen and Chris discover the whole town is populated by werewolves. They burn the commune to the ground, with Karen killing Marcia and Roy in the process.
Some time later, Karen is seen back at work, having survived the attack. She suddenly begins to warn everyone about the existence of werewolves, before becoming one herself. Chris pulls out a pistol and quickly dispatches her. The rest of America is left puzzled by the broadcast.
- Jane Levy as Karen White
- James Allen McCune as Chris Halloran
- Gary Oldman as Dr. Wagner
- Teddy Sears as Roy White
- Callie Hernandez as Terri Fisher
- Sarah Stephens as Marcia Lura
- Daniel ZoVatto as Eddie Quist