Atmospheric and contains a solid performance by Albert Finney. Other than that, this movie is slow and boring; the death scenes are stupid (except for the zoologist guy and the opening), it doesn't seem to build to anything and it's not scary at all; Wadleigh can't direct a horror scene to save his life. The infrared P.O.V.'s are confusing and unnecessary. An embarrassment of a werewolf movie.
If ever I needed to see something in its restored version. Wolfen would by no accounts exist today, though I take its position(s) fairly sincerely. We may cringe at the mysticism on display, which still doesn't deny the persecution experienced by the linked attackers. I couldn't in good faith recommend it when I'm undecided if its ambiguous or just messy, but I enjoyed the experience.
Entertaining film made with obvious care and intelligence. If someone ever says to you, 'Hey want to see a police thriller/horror movie starring Albert Finney & Gregory Hines w/ social commentary about urban decay, Native Americans and (were) wolves?' the obvious answer is, 'Yes please!'. Contains Steadicam work by Garrett Brown.
I'm kind of on the fence about this one, and not the least about whether this can actually be considered a werewolf movie. The wolf's POV is interesting and executed fairly well, but the film itself feels a bit like an overly long police procedural with very few horror elements.
Unintentionally ethnically insulting Hollywood at its finest. "Man, those Native Americans got a raw deal. Y'know what would really set the record straight? Making a horror movie about Indians turning into wolves and prowling the city at night tearing up the descendent of settlers because whitey has it coming! That just feels right somehow. That oughta really wake people up and restore peace and dignity."
"What struck me in 1981 and again recently about Wolfen is how much it reflects the same grandiose '60s blend of leftist idealism, countercultural eclecticism and big-screen (and multi-track audio) experimentation." - Jonathan Rosenbaum (Cinema Scope, Summer 2011)