I'll begin with the following:
I'm biased. The Howling is my favorite werewolf film of all-time. Sure, American Werewolf in London is right alongside it, but I prefer my Wolves to be more "human-wolf" on two legs than "large wolf" plodding around on all fours.
The Howling set the standard for my preference of 'Wolf, and outside of Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers, no other film has come close in the 35 years since. (And if you say Underworld's Rogaine-needing CGI 'Wolves are anywhere near this, you should actually order The Howling now and watch the movie, because it's the only assumption that can be made).
Despite one horrendous choice in attempting to pass off animation (not claymation, actual animation,) as the film, (the quality was bad then, and one has to wonder why they didn't edit it out or film it differently. It's a simple 2 second shot, and over the past 35 years, it's become charming, in a way, I suppose,) The Howling set a standard for 'Wolf effects that are amazing; hardly surprising as Rob Bottin, who provided the stunning practical effects of The Thing, holds down the same position here.
And, also unsurprisingly, Scream Factory provides a visually beautiful blu ray quality image. Contrast is nearly perfect here, and that's important in this film.
As expected, the 'Wolves come out at night, and with the numerous practical effects shots used, ensuring the proper lighting throughout is achieved is important. While the practical effects are better than even those of today, they are still 35 years old, and making sure things that need to stay in the shadows remain there while giving us clear views and appreciation of the beautiful beasts is achieved masterfully.
Now, with all that said, I have my first issue EVER with a Scream Factory release.
Every Collector's Edition I've gotten from them, (quite a few,) has always brought SEVERAL new extras to the table outside of a better image. Not so with The Howling, which is just a "port" of the extras from the MGM Collector's Edition on DVD from years ago, along with one new item: "Horror's Hallowed Grounds," in which a host who believes he's more amusing than he actually is, revisits famous locations used in The Howling.
No question that this extra is very cool, but the host is rather grating when he tries to be funny. Thankfully, he doesn't overdo it, and seeing Eddie's cabin, still standing, still recognizable, (along with many other stops along the way,) FAR outweighs any annoyances with attempted humor. (Honestly, now knowing where it is, that it's accessible to the public, if you know where to look, has made me want to visit it!)
The Howling is one of my favorites; I had zero issue double-dipping for this one. If you own the MGM DVD Collector's Edition, it may not be worth it for others, even with the better quality picture and one extra.
If you don't own The Howling or have a bare bones copy, Scream Factory has issued the best looking version thus far.