Best Movies of All Time + Slither



"Don't let them in your mouth!"

-- Bill Pardy
Slither is a 2006 horror-comedy written and directed by James Gunn that serves as a well-made, contemporary B-movie. When a meteorite containing an alien parasite crash lands in the woods outside Wheelsy, South Carolina, it may have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for the drunken shenanigans of Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) and Brenda Gutierrez (Brenda James). Grant stumbles upon the creeping crawling creature which shoots a dart into his stomach that maneuvers its way into his brain. Over the next few days, Grant develops a number of rashes, and his personality begins to change, much to the concern of his wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks). As more time passes, Grant's condition worsens, and it's apparent that something truly alien has started to take control of his body. He goes on a rampage, killing a number of pets and livestock around the community, and he attacks and kidnaps Brenda. In an effort to catch Grant, Starla and the local police chief Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) lead a group of deputies and townspeople in an effort to find him. Little do they know that Grant has laid a trap for them that will unleash an entirely new terror on the town of Wheelsy, and possibly, the entire world.

I remember seeing the trailer for this film back when it was set to be released, and I thought it was an interesting idea for a revamped B-movie. At the time, I wasn't necessarily gung-ho about seeing it, but as time went by and it managed to scare up some relatively positive reviews, I got it in my mind to give it a view. It never really dropped off my radar, but I wasn't as into the horror genre back then as I am now, so I just never took the time to give it a chance. But now, with it much more accessible to me than it has been in the past, I figured now was the best time to take this horror-comedy in.

Like many B-movies, Slither takes a look at what might happen if there were some sort of alien attack on humankind. This time, we're delving into the backwoods of South Carolina, taking a look at how one small town responded to a vicious parasitic attack on its populace. Needless to say, the film ends like so many others have before: with a very large body count and enough gleeful gore to satisfy the gore-hounds. The screenplay offers a good send-up of your classic horror B-movies, and once you can settle into that frame of mind, you can let the mindless entertainment ensue.

What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't expect too much in terms of storyline. It's a humdrum tale of people reacting to a given situation, and that's exactly how it should be. Because of this, however, three other facets need to step up in order to make this a successful film. First, we have to have believable characters with whom we can mildly relate. Banks and Fillion fill those shoes well enough, and although I wouldn't go as far as to say I cared for their characters, I did find myself rooting for them to make it through. Second, the dialogue needs to be catchy and fresh. Slither also succeeds here. The dialogue felt realistic, and it did enough to keep me smiling from start to finish.

Finally, a successful horror-comedy has to deliver the scares as well as the laughs. While it's not as side-splittingly funny as, say, Shaun of the Dead, there's still plenty to laugh about here and there, and most of it comes from dialogue. Kudos to the screenwriter, as well as the actors, for having the comedic timing and sensibilities to pull this one off. In terms of scares, there aren't really any moments of suspense or times where you'll jump out of your seat. In true B-movie fashion, Slither instead goes for the jugular, almost literally. It attempts to shock you by its level of gore, and I do have to say that the filmmakers created a rather disgusting creature for all of us to "enjoy."

Because Slither manages to succeed on its three most important facets, it has to be considered a successful film. Each of these facets help make it an entertaining and mindless romp, and it should never be taken as more than such. Just know going in that you're going to be in for some slightly sickening images here and there, so those of you with an easily upset stomach might want to beware. Aside from that, throw Slither into your "movies to watch" list because it's a hell of a good time.

Movie Review SummaryGrade: B-Status: Should See

2006, Brenda James, comedy, Elizabeth Banks, horror, James Gunn, Michael Rooker, movie review, Nathan Fillion, and more:

Relevant to: SLITHER + Slither