Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86% (Critics) / 62% (Audience)
Directed By: James Gunn
Written By: James Gunn
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Tania Saulnier and Michael Rooker
Studio: Universal Pictures
Synopsis:A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters. – (Source)
One of my rules of movies and TV is that adding Nathan Fillion to a show/movie automatically shoots that show/movie up a few notches. So casting Nathan Fillion as the lead of a horror movie about alien slugs taking over a small town is a guarantee of cinematic gold in my book. It also helps that Fillion brought a decent amount of that Mal Reynolds from FIREFLY charm to the part of Sheriff Bill Pardy. Adding to the excellence of this cast were Elizabeth Banks (totally unconventional in every way in her role as the female lead/damsel in distress) and Michael Rooker who was just aces as her husband who becomes the first of the townfolk to be “visited” by the alien menace. Rooker’s transformation from sad sack husband in a May/December marriage to misshapen alien freak was great and it owed just as much to Rooker’s performance as to the makeup and effects teams.
I also loved how unabashed writer/director James Gunn was in making this movie as big of a gross out affair as he could get away with. The scene where the poor woman who was being used as an alien slug incubator exploded was so gnarly. And the nice balance of humor and horror that Gunn was able to strike was appreciated. Not everyone can make a good comedy-horror film so when a good one is made I am very appreciative. It is this ability to convey a sense of fun that has me so stoked for Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY film later this summer.
I was personally annoyed by the way this movie never seemed to stick to any rules (even the ones that the film made up) when it came to the infected humans. It was like they acted and displayed abilities according to whatever need a specific scene had as opposed to sticking to some semblance of continuity. A total nerd complain I admit but what can I say? I am a nerd.
There was a pre-OFFICE Jenna Fischer in this flick and she was relegated to a tiny and thankless role as the police department receptionist. I wanted more Pam Beesly, dagnabit!
Final Verdict: If you are a fan of the comedic horror genre then you will be a fan of SLITHER. It hits all the right beats that a film like this needs to with great performances from a very game cast, clever writing/direction and some truly gross (and awesome!) special effects.