My guess is that author Gary Brandner has the record for movies that are based on his books in name only. The Howling: Reborn states it’s based on his novel The Howling II, but a skim over its plots synopsis on Wikipedia shows that is a lie. I am not even sure why it was decided that this should be marketed as the eight Howling film. It has been 16 years since the last one and it’s not like the normal movie watcher was hankering for a new entry in a series that was known to be beyond lackluster.
Some sites claim this is, or was meant to be, a reboot of the franchise, but I don’t agree with that. A reboot needs to be… a reboot. You can’t just make a random film and claim it’s a reboot. Insidious (2010) might have some elements in common with Poltergeist (1982) but nobody would think of it as a reboot of Poltergeist. The Howling (1981) was a satirical horror comedy about a news anchor that ended up in a community of werewolves. This is a high school flick about teens getting involved with mystical things—which was quite popular in the early 2010s thanks to films like Twilight (2008). It even has the “based on a Young Adult novel” narration.
It’s about this dude who meets a cool chick, at the same time his dad meets a cool chick. His mother was killed when he was a child. She was maybe a werewolf, at least the cool chick that is after his dad is a werewolf. There are a lot of muscled clad young men without their shirts on. There is a scene where a character implores another character that has been transformed into a wolf to remember that they are human, so they won’t kill them—those are always great.
The Howling: Reborn is a film that features a few scenes with werewolves, but it’s mostly a teen-romance in a spooky situation. It’s quite dull and has that slight desaturation with high contrast filter that so many films had at the time. It has nothing to do with Howling in general, but that’s a given for the series. Watch the original instead.