The Company of Wolves (Jordan, 1984)

With The Company of Wolves, Neil Jordan completely dismisses narrative coherence by layering fairy tale upon fairy tale, producing a maddening series of metaphors that seem both obvious and self-indulgent. Based on Angela Carter’s short story collection The Bloody Chamber, The Company of Wolves deliberately and deliriously charts the sexual awakening of a Little Red Riding Hood type named Rosaline, who comes across spoiled and rotten. She’s a terrible protagonist, uninteresting and vapid, meandering hopelessly through dark dreamscapes without much consequence (until the ridiculous ending). Even though Jordan only had a budget of $2 million, the film looks incredibly dated, using a boring movie-of-the-week visual style offset by a cluttered Gothic set design that elicits neither menace nor fright. I’ve always felt Jordan was one of the most overrated directors working today, and now I’m sure of it.

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