More than a Slither, it's a Chunk of Cheese
Think of various classic elements of horror b-movies from over the years and combine them into one modern horror which revels in the cheesiness and you get "Slither", another movie in the recent trend of horror comedies which is more about having fun with the genre that delivering scares. Is it any good, well you need to be a fan of horror b-movies to really appreciate it, but if you're not and frankly I'm not then it still comes across reasonably well but never being anything more than adequate in all categories.
A meteorite from outer space comes crashing down undetected in woodlands near a small town where Grant Grant (Michael Rooker - The 6th Day) and Starla Grant (Elizabeth Banks - The 40 Year Old Virgin), an unlikely couple live. One night whilst walking through the woods Grant Grant stumbles across the meteorite and becomes infected by a parasite it releases which quickly takes over his body and mind turning him into a monster. With Grant now looking to infect others, his wife Starla and local policeman Bill (Nathan Fillion - Waitress) along with a few others must find away to not only survive but stop Grant before he infects the whole town.
So the first thing about "Slither" is that the storyline runs through various set ups from other horror movies, merging them reasonably well into one seriously concocted storyline. You get a meteor from space containing some for of alien life form, the infection of someone which then spreads via slug like creatures and of course you have a select few who battle to survive. There is little or nothing original about the storyline except for that it takes several ideas from other movies to merge them into one. But it doesn't matter because "Slither" is very much a comedy homage to classic horror b-movies.
As such pretty much all of "Slither" is predictable with the exception of some amusing scenes. It follows a formula and rarely strays from it as we get the initial set up where we quickly work out which characters will most likely survive. The trouble is that whilst "Slither" is all about having fun with the horror genre and the cheesiness of b-movies it rarely gets close to delivering any form of scare. For me it should, it should manage to squeeze in a couple of frights in amongst all the cliche and cheese but never gets close and that for me is disappointing. Even when we watch these slug like creatures go about their business the sense of fear is never present.
Thankfully "Slither" does focus on having fun with the horror genre, not in the same way that "Shaun of the Dead" spoofed the zombie genre, but by making the cheesiness cheesier and blatantly revelling in it. As such there are a few decent laughs to be had, especially when combined with some blatantly tacky special effects. But because it's all about poking fun at the genre and only that every single comedy moment feels part of the storyline rather than thrown in purely for comedy effect. The same can be said of the dialogue which trawls the bargain basement of horror cliche and blends it in a perfectly over the top cheesy way without feeling like gags have been thrown in purely for effect.
As for the acting well intentionally cheesy is what it's all about with Elizabeth Banks and Nathan Fillion delivering classic horror amateur dramatics as two of the main characters and Tania Saulnier not far behind when it comes to being the stereotypical screaming girl, she's the one in the bath scene. But strangely the best performance comes from Michael Rooker as Grant Grant the poor bugger who gets infected by the alien in the meteor. With shaven head, glasses and looking beefed up Rooker creates a really amusing character with a twang to his voice which instantly reminded me of Woody Harrelson. Just a shame that for the majority of "Slither" he ends up behind a series of grotesque prosthetics.
What this all boils down to is that "Slither" is an adequate comedy horror which will no doubt appeal more to fans of classic horror b-movies than those who don't. It is intentionally cheesy in all departments and has fun with various horror cliches but for me it lacked the occasional fright which I really wanted.
Tags: Zombie Movies