The visuals and production design are sumptuous, like a painting in motion. The narrative, however, is developed in metaphor much more than the actual characters being well developed, akin to a fairy tale. The Company of Wolves is very creative and lush in its design and meaning, thus it attains emotion from those avenues, even if it feels like a lesson of instruction instead of a story.
Jordan's first attempt at the horror genre (with fantasy blended in) with a unique take on the classic "Red Riding Hood" tale. Set up is amazing and looks like a dark version of a children's storybook, the tales told & opening/ending were both interesting to watch & amazingly executed at the same time. One of his first but also one of his very best.
One of those films that lives better in the memory than on a screen. What seemed revelatory and dangerous comes across on a revisit as an exercise in portentous, if occasionally thrilling, symbolism. Its harkening back to the studio-bound films of yore only reminds me that Michael Powell's world of Pinewood Himalayas was so much defter in its fairytale perversity than it first appeared.
3.3 stars. A jumble of signifiers rather than a coherent film, but none the less atmospheric for it. The unreal, slightly lurid fairytale world is a fun, creepy place to let your eyes wander a-while. There were times when I was just waiting for the next transformation sequence, but generally I enjoyed soaking up the queasy over-determined fantasy Freudian wrongness. A little daft, but never stupid.
I believe seeing this film as a kid might be the best way. It has its fair share of evocative images(Close-up of drops of tears), and a dreamy plot/pacing. As an adult, I'm not buying it--the sets looks all the same, the special effects are crummy, and the men are all unattractive. The narrative misses it's mark too often and when it should be fantastical, eerie, and erotic, its obvious and just plain silly.
Has followed me since early childhood like a nightmare I couldn't forget; in fact, for a long time, I thought I had only dreamed this movie (and probably, I had dreamed it, and memories of those dreams merged with my nebulous memories of the actual film). I still await the right time to watch this as an adult.