Written and Directed
by James Gunn
Running Time: 1:36
for strong horror violence and gore, and language.
Slither was a reasonably entertaining horror-comedy that started off very slow, but exploded during the last half.
Deep in redneck territory in South Carolina, a mysterious meteor has fallen from the sky. It carries a slithering entity that decimates whatever it lands on. It immediately burrows itself deep into the body of Grant Grant (no, that's not a misprint) and plans on taking over the world. But Grant is in love with his wife and that emotion has some control over the entity within, so Grant has to find someone else to help spawn his minions. And it's up to his wife Starla, Sheriff Bill and Mayor Jack to lead the town to victory.
Slither was first and foremost, a really gross movie. Animals are slaughtered; humans are chopped in half with their innards spilling out; people eat raw meat (and the previously mentioned slaughtered animals); and then there are those slithery things that look like big blood packets squirming on the ground and into peoples mouths. This movie is not for the squeamish, that's for sure. If you can handle disgusting visuals, then you can handle Slither. If you're looking to be scared, then this movie might not be for you. There wasn't anything in the movie that wasn't easily predictable and therefore, the scares were few and far between. What the movie hangs its hat on is the ability to elicit squeals of 'ewwwww' from the audience, and some comedic lines. The squeals will happen no matter who sees the movie because as I said earlier, this movie is very gross. The comedy was decent, but could have been more pronounced, and not had to rely on swearing to get a laugh. Some of the comedy comes from the absurd nature of the film, but that might fly over the head of an audience expecting a horror film. I have to say though, the movie has a soft spot in my heart because it was written and directed by James Gunn, who was the writer on the very first film I ever worked on, Tromeo and Juliet. And there's even a shout out to Troma with a brief TV shot of a scene from their classic The Toxic Avenger. Also, James' brother Sean stars on one my favorite TV shows, Gilmore Girls and his girlfriend stars in another one of my favorite shows, The Office (and has a small role in Slither.) So this movie has a lot going for it, at least for me personally.
The biggest problem is that it takes too long for the movie to really get going. The first half of the film sets up everything, but it's a very long boil. The entity crashes to Earth fairly quickly but then takes its time to start its domination. There are a couple of nasty scenes in the first half of the film, but nothing that is sustained for more than a few seconds. However, once the posse finds the woman in the shed, then the movie explodes... literally. From the time the slithery things start crawling in and out of people, the movie never lets up. People are turned into zombie-like creatures, they spit out acid, they're shot and stabbed. There's a scene of a hot girl in a bathtub. There are some really funny moments with Sheriff Bill trying to save the day only to get attacked by a deer and then losing their best means of defeating Grant. Oh yes, and Grant (and actor Michael Rooker) goes through one of the strangest transformations I've ever seen on film, where he turns into what looks like a giant squid. You can still see the human eyes, but the rest of him is a big hunk of mess. And it's very disturbing, especially when his attractive, blond wife goes in for a kiss. Had the entire movie been like the second half of the film (and it really does kick in around the 45 minute mark) this could have been a fantastic film. But sitting through the first half was getting tiring, and the second half, while markedly better, wasn't enough to make up for the first half.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Slither was a gross out horror comedy that was heavy on the gross, but light on the horror. It's definitely not for the squeamish.
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