Halloween Spooktacular: Day One

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Slither, 2005
dir. James Gunn

I chose to start off the month with this film because a) I already had the DVD, and b) it’s a comedy so less emotional commitment. I wanted to take it easy, basically. And as per usual, James Gunn does not disappoint!

This film was really funny, but when it gets going, it gets very gory really fast, which is really great. It’s almost like a sci-fi zombie film, and the ending has a very Romero-esque quality without feeling too ripped-off. (Which I suppose is sort of ironic considering James Gunn wrote the Zach Snyder remake of Dawn of the Dead.)

There’s some really great characters in it, and they play off each other really well. I like Nathan Fillion a lot, but Elizabeth Banks is the true hero. She’s funny but also strong and courageous, and pretty much saves the day without ever being ~tough~. And it’s with these characters that Gunn finds the humour, their interactions and the personalities we get used to through the events of the film. There are a few jokes, but ultimately the film takes itself seriously enough that it doesn’t feel like the threat is empty like many others nudge-nudge-wink-wink wannabe schlock films. Slither is extremely schlocky, for sure, but it’s also earnest.

Overall, I think this is an outstanding horror comedy perfect for a horror night with friends. It won’t scare anyone, but it will definitely gross out some folks, and it’s a fun film to look for references. It’s full of little references to 80s horror films in the backgrounds of scenes, especially in the city centre. (Henenlotter, MacReady.)

I couldn’t have thought of a better way to kickstart this month-long marathon! On to the next one!

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