(dir. James Gunn)
A meteorite leaves a small-town victim to parasitic slugs that take over their hosts' bodies in zombie-like fashion.
People love to make a big deal about how James Gunn went from directing quirky, cult genre films to Guardians of the Galaxy, but it’s clear from Slither that Gunn was always destined to play in a larger, big-budget sandbox. The earnest emotional quality that spans Gunn’s films is largely what makes Slither such a great watch. Sure, the practical effects and gross-out gore are an added enticement. But Gunn’s focus on the emotional connections between these small-town, ironically hunting obsessed, people elevates the film beyond the standard splatter film tropes.
Every member of the large cast is given a chance to shine, and when your cast includes Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Miachel Rooker and a whole host of character actors, that’s an impressive feat in itself. That being said, Rooker is clearly the standout as the first of the infected and master of the hive-mind. While audiences are surely no stranger to seeing Rooker as a villain, he is effortlessly sympathetic in his role as Grant Grant. He’s not so much a villain but a victim of forces beyond his control. Like the parasites, he simply is what is. It’s this theme, of people staying true to their inherent nature, that courses through the film. Even in the face of horror and tragedy, the good-natured cop will remain good-natured, the independent woman will remain independent, and the control freak will remain controlling though a bit more freakish.
Scare Factor: 1/5 Effortlessly fun and fantastically gory, Slither earns its cult status and is a prefect way to break up some of the overwhelming darkness in your standard Halloween watchlist.