Slither

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A meteorite housing a malevolent alien parasite crashes into the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina. While frolicking in the woods with Brenda (Brenda James), local car dealer Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) is subsequently infected by the parasite. The parasite takes over his body and absorbs his consciousness and memories. With the alien now in control of his body, ‘Grant’ begins to slowly change into a hideous tentacular slug-like monster.

No one suspects Grant of the serial pet murders that have occurred around town, however his wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) begins to question his health. He avoids doctors appointments and lies to keep her in the dark. Sensing her distance from her husband, Starla contacts town sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) – her childhood crush – who attempts to reassure and comfort her while not acting on his feelings.

Grant infects the lonely and neglected Brenda with hundreds of his offspring. He hides her in an isolated barn where she becomes massively obese as baby alien slugs grow inside her. Pardy leads a small group of officers on a hunt for Grant, only to be lured into a trap where Brenda explodes releasing hundreds of the alien slugs. Most of Pardy’s group become infected, zombie-like creatures. The infected begin to want Starla and talk to her as if they are Grant.

Before long, the rest of the town become infected by the parasites and are controlled via a hive mind connection with Grant, who plans to infect the rest of the world until he is ‘all that is’ as shown during a failed bonding attempt with Kylie (Tania Saulnier). Kylie learns about the parasite’s history. Its consciousness, however, is tampered with by the real Grant’s memories and his love for his wife, Starla. Pardy, Starla, Kylie, and Mayor MacReady (Gregg Henry) try to escape detection and kill Grant. The townspeople attack their vehicle, capturing Starla in the process.

The survivors, Pardy and Kylie, track Starla, only to discover the infected are melding into one giant creature. They must risk their lives to stop the infestation from spreading any further. Starla charms the monster by calling him “Grant” and telling him they can be together, but as they get close to each other, she pulls a hairbrush handle from her underwear and stabs him in the chest. He slaps her with a tentacle and knocks her across the room. Meanwhile, Pardy bursts in and tries to kill the monster with a grenade, but another tentacle knocks the grenade into the pool, where it detonates. The monster sends two tentacles to stab Pardy and infect him, and one is lodged in his stomach, but Pardy attaches the other to a small propane tank, filling Grant with gas, and Starla shoots the monster, causing it to explode.

All the infected die, and the three survivors begin their walk to a hospital to see about the sheriff’s wounds.

In the Post credits scene, a cat is seen coming up to Grant’s brain, where the parasite infects the cat

REVIEW:

Horror isn’t my genre du jour, but sometimes you just have to watch things to make others happy. This is how Slither, a film that was released in 2006 and slipped under my radar, came in this week. Is this a film that can make a fan out of even this hardened anti-horror buff?

What is this about?

In the small burg of Wheelsy, housecats are turning into hellcats and townsfolk are morphing into zombies, prompting Sheriff Bill Pardy and the concerned wife of one of the town’s richest citizens to uncover the dark forces at work.

What did I like?

Creature. One of the things that I find is missing from most of horror nowadays is the creature feature. Sure, we have serial killers and killer clown dolls, but when was the last time we got a true creature that not only is hideously ugly, but also capable of some real scare tactics, which I will get into shortly. Aside from the heavy CGI that was used to create this monstrosity, one cannot help but be impressed with his look and hope that Hollywood takes note and brings the creature feature back.

Mal. Someone said that Nathan Fillion is one of the most underrated actors of our time. If you think about it, he really is. Not only is he capable of charismatic charm and wit, he can also handle straddling that fine line between comedy and drama, as we see every week on his show Castle. As Sherriff Pardy, he is a bit more of a straight man than I care for, but still gets a couple of comedic moments, as well as showing his acting range. The perfect character for him, if you ask me.

Scary. Quite some time has passed since I’ve seen a horror film that was scary. While this didn’t scare me in the least, I can see how some people would end up having nightmares. Not only is the thought of lots of slug like creatures all over the place enough to freak anyone out, but the way that they are shown in the film is enough to make you not take a bath/shower ever again!

What didn’t I like?

Hot chick. One of the tropes of horror films is that there is a young, hot chick that more often than not, is the heroine…or at least one of the survivors. Is this film any different? No, but my problem with that is there is already a hot wife that is more than enough eye candy (even if the shower scene did happen to conveniently not show anything below her shoulders). Also, this random hot chick just got introduced in the last 40 minutes or so. Tell me that wasn’t done to bring in some young blood.

Aliens. This alien parasite that comes down and becomes the antagonist of this flick is only revealed to be of interspace origin after the previously mention hot chick accidentally finds out about it. I don’t know. Something about that just seemed off. It would seem that someone would have noticed the meteorite. Hell, in every other movie, the slightest bit of space dust comes to Earth and the government quarantines half the country! Also, it seems that it would be quite obvious this epidemic is of alien origin. What kind of idiot do you have to be to not notice that?

Do nothing. A little past the halfway part, about the point where we actually get concrete direction in which the film takes, the protagonists head into a barn and meet an infected victim who has turned into a giant tumor, as it would seem. Once she blows, the crew, minus the leads, just seem to stand there, mouths agape for the alien slugs to take them over. WTF?!? Who does that? Aside from being paralyzed by fear, it would seem that you would take off running, or at least start shooting when you see those things headed your way.

When all the dust clears, Slither actually wasn’t half bad. No. it isn’t enough to make me a horror fan, but I did enjoy watching it. The mix of horror and comedy, as well as the return of the creature feature makes this a must-see! I highly recommend it, but be warned that you won’t see any torture porn like you do in much of what passes for “horror” these days. Check it out!

4 out of 5 stars

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