Scream Horror Magazine

How Has The Depiction of Werewolves Evolved in Movies Over the Years?

Posted on: February 15th, 2024

The concept of werewolves has existed in civilisations around the world for thousands of years, with some scholars believing that they were first depicted in the Epic of Gilgamesh around 2,100 BC. They then appeared in Greek mythology, with Zeus turning King Lycaon of Arcadia into a wolf as punishment.

Throughout cinematic history, werewolves have had a place on our screens. Over the years, the portrayal of these beasts has evolved, and this is partly thanks to more advanced technology becoming available. It seems that filmmakers have always strived for increased realism when showing these monstrous beings on screen.

The Wolf Man Started It All
Various classic horror films have been credited with influencing the modern-day portrayal of the werewolf. For instance, George Waggner’s The Wolf Man from 1941 is up there with other classics such as The Mummy and Dracula. This was the second werewolf offering from Universal Pictures, after 1935’s Werewolf of London. However, the latter wasn’t anywhere near as commercially successful.

The Wolf Man helped bring the concept of werewolf mythology into cinema, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s portrayal of Larry Talbot and his transformation into a werewolf was incredible. Using only makeup and lap dissolve techniques, the legendary film was a great introduction to the werewolf genre at the time. However, looking back on it now, it seems extremely rudimentary.

Other Media Follow the Trend Set by Cinema
The influence of that early offering has been monumental, with the werewolf genre now booming across the whole of the entertainment industry. Along with all the myriad movies that followed in The Wolf Man’s wake, there have been television series like Werewolf in 1987. Werewolves have also appeared in a range of other shows and can be predominantly seen alongside vampires in offerings like True Blood and What We Do In the Shadows.

The online casino sector is always a good indicator of what’s hot in the mainstream, and werewolf titles are abundant on slot pages. This shows that the horror genre and werewolf tropes are both alive and well and that players continue to avidly consume this niche. One Megaways slots on the market, for example, is Curse of the Werewolf Megaways, which features all of the traditional tropes you’d expect from a game in the genre.

Increased Realism and Gore
Werewolf tropes have remained constant over time, with the full moon, silver bullets, and affliction spreading through infected bites now regarded as canon. There have been some changes, though, with an apparent move towards increased realism and gore. This occurred prominently in the 1980s, with The Howling and An American Werewolf in London both released in 1981. These pushed the boundaries, especially with their transformation scenes that used animatronics.

Today’s modern technology is even more advanced, giving filmmakers amazing capabilities when it comes to depicting these beings on the screen. The Wolf Man reboot in 2024 could serve as an excellent example of how far things have come in the genre since the original.

Werewolves have always been shown as humans that transform into giant wolf-like creatures. The main thing that has evolved has been the technology used to depict this on screen. Today’s offerings are incredibly realistic, and it will be interesting to see how the new Wolf Man movie improves on the original.

About Scream Horror Magazine
The world’s scariest publication, SCREAM – Blood, guts, gore & more! We are THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE PRINT HORROR MAGAZINE. We cover films, celebrity interviews, DVDs/Blu-rays, festivals, books, games, comics, graphic novels, fiction/non-Fiction, photography, clothing/fashion, news, reviews, previews, competitions, on-location film reports & much, much more!
Contact Scream Magazine
For advertising, sales, ordering, editorial, or other miscellaneous questions, you can reach us via email here
Follow Scream Magazine
Follow Scream Magazine on Twitter Join Scream Magazine on Facebook Scream Magazine on Instagram
©2018 SCREAM MAGAZINE | Privacy Policy