For some movie watchers, Halloween is the only appropriate time to watch scary movies. Others are keen on scary movies year round, and have Netflix queued up and ready to go.
The subgenres of horror movies are endless, ranging from alien movies, ghost stories, vampire killers and, of course, werewolves. These shapeshifters are found in movies from the '80s, '90s and 2000s — and across cultures, Jack Daly, a folklorist and host of the “The Monster Folklorist” podcast, tells TODAY.com.
"Werewolves are often thought to represent the bestial, darker side of our selves."
"The history of werewolves is itself very interesting, and dates back in literature to classical mythology," Daly says, starting with Ovid's "Metamorphoses," in which King Lycaon is turned into a wolf as punishment for serving Jupiter human flesh, and appearing in Norse mythology and Slavic folklore. In some South American countries, the seventh son of the seventh son is thought to be cursed as a “lobizon," or a werewolf.
"From a metaphorical perspective, werewolves are often thought to represent the bestial, darker side of our selves. The fact that werewolves often commit crimes such as murder and cannibalism indicate that they are taking part in acts that we have deemed inhuman," Daly says.
Werewolfism is considered a curse, per Daly — but "many stories and instances from folklore show that the werewolf is a tragic figure and a victim of forces beyond their control."
See all the different shades of werewolf below.
'Teen Wolf: The Movie' (2023)
"Teen Wolf" began with a 1985 movie starring Michael J. Fox of the same name and has since become a teen TV show and another movie, which is a sequel. Start anywhere you please: The themes will be the same throughout.
"Twilight" is, technically, a vampire movie, but it's a werewolf movie, too. Taylor Lautner plays one of Bella Swan's two leading men. Unlike Edward Cullen, he is warm-blooded and belongs in a pack.
'Werewolves Within' (2021)
If you're looking to laugh, "Werewolf Within" is your best bet. A snowstorm traps residents in a hotel. One of them is a werewolf, and he is on the hunt.
'Silver Bullet' (1985)
In this Stephen King adaptation, Marty, who uses a wheel chair, becomes a hero after identifying the person likely responsible for a string of killings in his town. He then teams up with his sister to take the beast down.
Even werewolves deserve legal defense and their day in court, right? In "Wer," a defense attorney learns her client might be a werewolf and a town wants to hold him responsible
'Ginger Snaps' (2000)
"Ginger Snaps" is about werewolves, yes, but it's about so much more — the changes of life, growing up and what happens when your sister transforms before your very eyes. In the 2000 movie, one sister is attacked by a werewolf; the other one is left to watch her change.
'The Wolfman' (2010)
"The Wolfman" starts with a mysterious murder, and then focuses on an even more mysterious injury. An actor returns home to his estate in 1891 England after his brother's death, only to be attacked by the same creature. The movie stars Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt and Anthony Hopkins.
'The Howling' (1981)
For some truly vivid and gory '80s movie transformations, watch "The Howling." With a modern adaptation on the way, "The Howling" is about a woman stalked by a killer, who also happens to be supernatural.
"I think I'm losing my mind," Lucas Till's character says in this movie, amid all the changes he is experiencing. He's right: It's not the usual pains of growing up. He's becoming a werewolf. After destroying his human family, he searches for her werewolf parents to get some answers. Jason Momoa also stars.
'Bad Moon' (1996)
Be careful who you let in through the front door. "Bad Moon" is high on cheesiness and goriness, but it's part of the appeal. Ted survives a werewolf attack that killed his girlfriend. He moves into his sister's house as if everything was fine — but he's becoming the monster that ruined his own life.
Christina Ricci was Wednesday Addams in "The Addams Family". In "Cursed," she's a werewolf. Legendary horror director Wes Craven gives his take on the horror of becoming a monster. Jesse Eisenberg and Joshua Jackson also star in this underrated horror gem.
'Blood and Chocolate' (2007)
It's not easy being a young werewolf. Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) is looking down at a future determined by her genetic heritage. She is going to be a werewolf, and that's that. When she falls in love with a human (Hugh Dancy), she's tempted to break free. But will he wants her once she finds out who, and what, she is? This 2007 movie is based on a novel of the same name.