An avid fan of dark fairy tales, which he sometimes invests with a modern, realistic sensibility in his adaptations, filmmaker Neil Jordan found the perfect material to adapt into his second feature film: Angela Carter’s book The Bloody Chamber, a sexually charged take on classic children’s stories. Perhaps the most original film to have ever evoked the gloomy atmosphere of Grimms’ tales, The Company of Wolvesre-casts the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood in an aptly blood-red light, bringing its forbidden undertones to the fore. The movie imaginatively revamps not only the classic tale but also the cinematic werewolf mythology at large.
As her grandmother spins tales of men who are “hairy on the inside,” the 13-year-old heroine celebrates the end of her innocence, an end which signals her entrance into womanhood and the dangerous games of seduction. Jordan conveys this coming-of-age story through a dreamlike, hallucinatory, often misleading narrative-within-a-narrative structure, blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy, truth and fable. One of the best movies of the 1980s and an indisputable gem of fantasy cinema, The Company of Wolves to this day remains an enchanting fairy tale for adults.
Direction: Neil Jordan
Screenplay: Angela Carter, Neil Jordan
Cinematography: Bryan Loftus
Music: George Fenton
Editing: Rodney Holland
Cast: Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Graham Crowden, Stephen Rea