Thursday, August 3, 2017
Silver Bullet Review
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: A small town is plagued by murders and only a paraplegic boy realizes the killer is actually a werewolf.
Review: For the most part, "Silver Bullet" is as generic as a werewolf movie can come, however, what saves the story is the amusing dynamic between Corey Haim and Gary Busey. I mean, Gary Busey is pretty much playing Gary Busey, but somehow this enhances the entertainment value rather than detracting from it. Don't get me wrong, there are good ideas spread throughout the film; for example, making the identity of the werewolf a pivotal plot point. But, come on, son, they couldn't even produce a solid werewolf costume! Sometimes the werewolf looks like a damn bear in the shadows, but, when brought into the foreground, he's looking like a scrawny twig and fake as fuck. Also, the constant cuts to the werewolf's eyes and other limbs demonstrates a lack of a proper, and complete, special effect.
Now, "Silver Bullet" is based on a story by Stephen King, but the film only loosely follows the events of the story. This is especially bizarre given that Mr. King also wrote the screenplay. Nevertheless, cooler elements like the werewolf killing people on each holiday are dropped. The main character, Marty, played by Mr. Haim, uses a motorcycle-esque wheelchair to get around which is unique. Having Marty as a paraplegic does offer a degree of originality, yet, there is, realistically, only one scene that fully plays up the potential; we see Marty watching a bunch of kids play baseball and he stares at them longingly. I'm not sure why the sister is the narrator of the events since Marty and the uncle, played by Gary Busey, are the heart of the story. It's tough to adequately express, but Marty and the uncle felt believable together--a genuine sense of love formed from an established relationship between them. This kind of depiction is hard to display in even the best of movies.
The kills are acceptable...I guess...but the gravity of the situation is never instilled properly. Like, the town sheriff, played by John fucking Locke, is just chilling out while his townspeople are being turned into wolfy chow? Or that trash-talking asshole would simply carry on as usual after a bunch of people are slaughtered in front of him? And Marty's best friend is shredded and Marty is mad about fireworks?! AND the uncle is making jokes the same day as the dead friend's funeral?! Yeaaaah, okaaaay. The whole town is supposed to be scared, angry, and paranoid, however, every scene and character reaction would imply the opposite to be true. Should have called in the damn Monster Squad to take care of this shit. "Only one way to kill a werewolf." Damn right, Rudy! Speaking of which, the reveal of the werewolf's identity is done well despite the shoddy effects I previously mentioned.
In the end, "Silver Bullet" is not going to blow your mind and lacks the '80s charm since the events are supposed to take place in the '70s. Despite this, the actors are able to create a different kind of magic through the character interactions. This felt like a real family and, thus, made the characters endearing and you want to see them survive. While the werewolf design needed improvement, and the film's tone needed major adjustments, the film gets the job done in presenting a decent werewolf tale.
Notable Moment: When Reverend Lowe dreams that everyone in town transforms into werewolves during a funeral. Cool scene...though there is a hint of over the top cheesiness.
Final Rating: 6/10