Horror films tend to differ a little bit to other films when applying the three act structure. In the following summary of the fabulous horror An American Werewolf in London it is evident that the figure of David does not have the same character arc of a hero in a comedy or thriller who have to take on a problem and resolve it. Here David is at the mercy of a curse one that slowly tears his world apart. Having said that the film can still be neatly cut into the Three Act Structure.
We are introduced to the protagonist David and his friend Jack, a couple of Americans backpacking across Europe. They have decided to start their trip in the north of England, trekking across the Yorkshire moors. They stop at a crowded pub, The Slaughtered Lamb, in a small village. After a frosty reception the boys make things worse by asking about a five-pointed star that has been scrawled on the wall. The locals take offence and tell the boys to leave but warning them to ‘Stick to the Road’ and ‘Beware the moon’. This is when the inciting incident arrives as Jack and David deviate from the road and are attacked by a strange creature on the moors. Jack is savaged and David wounded just as the village folk arrive and shoot the creature dead. As David slips out of consciousness he glances over to the where the creature lay only to see the body of a man.
ACT 2 CONFRONTATION
The second Act begins as David comes to at a hospital in London, his wounds have been dressed. He has been unconscious for over three weeks. He begins to have nightmares and then one night he is visited by his (un)dead friend Jack.David is unsure if he is dreaming or not as Jack tells him that they were attacked by a werewolf. He explains that he himself is in Limbo, one of the walking dead, because he died an unnatural death and that David will become a werewolf at the next full moon. Alex, a nusre at the hospital invites David to stay at her flat. Whilst there, one night, David is again visited by Jack who urges him to take his own life and sevre the werewolf bloodline. The next day Alex leaves David alone to go to work. This is the half way point. As night begins there is a full moon in the sky and David turns into a werewolf. During the night the Werewolf David goes on a killing spree across London. He awakes naked in the wolf enclosure at London Zoo. He manages to get back to Alex’s apartment where she urges him to join her to visit Doctor ? Taxi… He tries to get himself arrested in Trafalger square by shouting obscenties about the Royal Family to a policeman who
He runs off
ACT 3 RESOLUTION
Unable to slash his wrists standing in a phonebooth David sees Jack standing outside a porno theatre…