Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a lucky scamp. The very nice people from Slither felt fitting to send me to the press screening of their movie in glam old Soho to see what today’s belligerent youth were getting their knickers in a twist about. Well, young people, I am about to twist your undies into warp factor nine... Review style!
Saturday night at the Moogvies
Slither is released on Friday 28 April 2006, and you can visit their site
, although before you read my review I suggest, no, INSIST you have a right royal blast on the super duper fancy pants 3D Slither game
to get you in mood. Give ‘em both barrels ya varmints!
I love horror movies.
As a small boy, I was scared to the point of near insanity by the horror video rental covers in my local off-licence as I bought my mother her weekly gin haul, so much so that going home and hiding under the covers held no relief because that’s where they get you.
Surely that would swear anyone off horror movies for life?! Oh no, I wanted more. I wanted to be terrified in new, grisly ways. Spending my nights wondering if a malevolent force was about to burst out of my wardrobe was a thrill given to me by such classics as Poltergeist and Hellraiser. Of course, time moved on and the scares weakened, watered down by adulthood and rationality (And by boarding up anywhere that something might be hiding). The promises of new and original terror that had were splashed across the latest movie posters just served to let me down harder each time. I stopped being scared. Until last night.
Slither is a wonderful mix. A true heart stopper with an acid-spitting tongue firmly in its diseased cheek, it marks the major directorial debut for James Gunn, whose previous notable work is as screenplay writer for the 2004 hit ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and on the eighties teen ultragore classic Troma films. There is a very similar feel carried through Slither as I found in Dawn of the Dead, a definite naturalness and likeability to the characters that make the absurd events just believable enough to capture the imagination. Join this with a nerve-jangling survival horror atmosphere and you get a shaky mess of a moog.
Films such as Scream may have taken a wry and intelligent swipe at the horror genre, but it’s nice to find a film that where you can’t just point to each character and label them as ‘fodder’ or ‘hero’ and so on. The charm of Slither is reminiscent of Gunn’s previous work on the comedy gore classic Troma (Google it you plebians) films – anyone can die.
And they probably will.
Characters of note are Grant Grant (Michael Rooker – Mallrats) who is the first to stumble on the otherworldly invaders, which certainly doesn’t bode well for his attractive young wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks – 40 Year Old Virgin). When Grant starts behaving erratically, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion - Serenity) and his brigade of backwater ‘cops’ have to step up to the mark and find out if the local disappearing livestock and a recently missing woman are in any way connected.
To sum up, Slither put my faith back into scary films that had been lost through so much sneering and internal cynicism. It’s an all out scare-fest with ultra gruesome special effects that will make you jump back in your seat one minute and then dampen it with laughter the next. To avoid sounding ultra-gushy, it is short, but perhaps if it was any longer it would have dragged. You people have the attention span of a dead goat anyway.