Slither review by The Grim Ringler



Seeing the box office receipts of this movie worries me. Sure, sure, you can tell me that you dont like it and thats as valid as me telling you that I do like it, but that isnt my problem. My problem is that it seems that a lot of people are missing out on some great horror movies. Its like the PG-13 horror movies have taken over in peoples minds as what the genre is supposed to be and a lot of really quality films are being pushed aside. And for me what makes Slither so great is that it fills a spot that not many horror films have for a while, and thats the horror comedy. A movie that is as scary and gross as it is funny.

In the rural town of Wheelsy the locals are about to celebrate the coming of hunting season with their annual pre-season bash. The mayor is surly, the people are happy, and the town is in its peak season. All of this falls quickly apart though when a meteor lands in the woods surrounding the town and something slips free to wreak havoc on the towns citizens. It begins with the richest man in town, as he is out in the woods with another woman, drunk after his wife had denied his advances. The man and woman stumble upon the meteor and its cargo as the creature moves away, looking like a worm of some sort. When the man leans forward to investigate the worms back splits apart and shoots a projectile into his chest. He is immediately infected with the creature and heads into the town to complete its mission total domination. The creature is a world killer, far older than Mankind and moving from world to world, infecting the indigenous life, devouring that life, and taking over the planet until nothing is left but it. Then the thing moves on to another world and another and onward. The police force tries to find and capture the creature that had once been a respected man in the town, but cannot get to it before it has impregnated a local woman and has spread its parasitical worms throughout the entire area, turning the residents into either food or zombies serving an extraterrestrial master. Now it becomes a race to see if the few surviving humans can stop the monster before it spreads outside of the town, or whether the earth is about to become a snack.

To mix comedy and horror takes a lot of guts from a filmmaker. After penning the controversial (amongst horror fans and purists) Dawn of the Dead remake, this is director James Gunns first feature film and he did a hell of a job. The film looks great. The special effects, a mix of digital and practical, are fantastic. It was great to see someone who understood how to use and feature monster makeup. The acting was very well done and actor Michael Rooker (Grant, the man-critter) rocked the house. And anyone with a fondness for gore and goo will adore this film.

Now, for a lot of people, the story will give them a problem as, and the writer/director acknowledges this, the film is a nod to a lot of other movies. And I am sure some people will cry foul after they see the movie but, eh, to hell with them. This is a damned fun horror movie. Sure, its got its toes in a lot of other movies, but, like Dawn, it takes what came before and uses that as a jumping off point. There are nods to other films, but Slither has its own identity. Which is what I adore about this film, the heart it has.

Horror movie this is, monster movie this may be, but it has a heart. And at the heart of this film is a love story. Twisted, sure, but a love story all the same. This is a story of a thing that has known nothing but appetite, and conquest, and domination for a billion years. But when it enters a human, and is seen with eyes of love, and is indeed loved, something awakens in it that it had never felt before love. And as soon as that love blooms its heart is divided between conquest and making its love happy. Sure, its an oft-times silly horror movie, but it has a heart and soul, and that makes it not just a good movie, but also a damned good one.

Logically, well, ok, not everything adds up here. How can something a billion years old never have run across a race that could defeat it? But then, there too could be a plot point not in the film, for whatever reason. If this thing has one consciousness spread over many hosts, well, perhaps then it cant be defeated or destroyed fully. Its too big, as it were. But again, we dont know that. Otherwise there are the usual how the hell did someone survive that? moments that you find in almost any horror, sci-fi, or action film. But really, the film comes down to you buying into the concept or not, thats the thing. If you dont buy into it, and the mix of horror and humor, well, this movie will not be a terribly fun experience. However, if you can dig it, baby, youll dig it.

I loved the movie. It was great to see a fun horror movie after so many downright nasty and hardcore horror films. Sure, I love the hard stuff, but sometimes you need a bit of a break and need to cleanse the palette. Thats this movie. Its outrageous, its lewd, its crude, its gross, its scary, its sad, and its a movie that should have done a lot better than it has. And heck, you cant damn a movie that sends little girls shrieking out of the theater.


8 out of 10 Jackasses
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