Of the three werewolf films that were released in 1981 An American Werewolf in London is that one that I have the strongest memory of even though it has had the least impact on me in the years that followed. Wolfen is a cult classic, and I am definitely in the cult, The Howling is a solid film, but An American Werewolf in London scared the hell out of me as a kid. This was in part because I saw it at far too young of an age. I do not know what my parents were thinking when they took me to it at ten, perhaps that it would be more comedy than horror, which makes sense given Blues Brothers and Animal House. All I really remember was asking to leave the theater after first werewolf attack scene on the moors, my parents tried to get me to stay, knowing that I loved monsters, but by the time Jack showed up as an ambulatory corpse I was done. We left the theater.
The film terrified me for days afterwards. It wasn't helped by the fact that we saw it around the same time that a group of squirrels moved into our attic. I would hear scratching and clawing at night and be terrified of what was in the attic. I am fairly sure that I had a string of nightmare inspired by the film. Its immediate impact, did not last much longer than the squirrels' residency in the attic, however, and I have not returned to this film as much as I have the other two from that year of the werewolf.