Slither - Review
Review by Jack Foley
AS Hollywood strives to up the ante in terms of gore (Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes), it also seems to be dropping the ball in terms of quality.
Fortunately, Slither, a splatter-fest from Dawn of the Dead remake scribe James Gunn, manages to turn heads as well as stomachs to emerge as one of the horror treats of the year.
Set in the sleepy Southwestern town of Wheelsy, America, the film follows the aftermath of an alien invasion as residents gradually become turned into flesh-eating zombies after becoming infected by a deadly parasite.
The seeds are sewn from the moment Michael Rooker’s town bully heads into the woods for some extra-marital sex only to discover the parasite in waiting.
Once infected, he begins to deform hideously turning into some sort of slimy, goo-ridden human octopus with a rabid appetite for flesh.
In so doing, he also infects a lonely single mother, using her as a breeding base for the slug-like creatures that will help to spread the extra-terrestrial being to the town’s remaining residents.
Standing in its path, however, is the town’s chief of police, Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion), who aims to offer some resistance with the help of Rooker’s wife (Elizabeth Banks), a potential love-interest.
Slither may borrow heavily from other horror movies but it does so in the best possible spirit, while offering a tongue-in-cheek alternative to some of the nastier horror flicks around.
The film is sick without wallowing in cruelty and offers as many laughs as chills on the way to its satisfying conclusion.
Writer-director Gunn deserves a lot of credit for the way in which he pays funny homage to everything from Tremors, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Society and Dawn of the Dead without ever making Slither feel like a tired parody.
Rather, it is a brisk, fun and oh-so gruesome romp that boasts special effects (or dripping, fleshy prosthetics) to rival the likes of John Carpenter’s The Thing – how it got away with a 15 certificate, though, is a big mystery.
The humour is spot-on and mostly delivered by the deadpan Fillion, proving that his ability to deliver a disbelieving one-liner in Joss Whedon’s Serenity was no fluke.
As bumbling hero Pardy, he is a pleasure to be around and his chemistry with Banks’ spunky love-interest lends the film a warmer human element than a lot of horror flicks of late.
Slither is therefore highly recommended viewing for horror fans with strong stomachs and a head for laugh-out loud humour. It offers proper gross out fun.
Running time: 96 mins