Saturday, March 7, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: Silver Bullet (1985)

By now, you guys should recognize that I love the horror genre.  I do consider myself a bit of an authority when it comes to things that go bump in the night, and I'm certain that many will agree with me when I say that there haven't been a lot of good werewolf movies or stellar horror movies based on literary icon Stephen King's work.  Now, there have been a couple of classic werewolf movies (here's looking at you, An American Werewolf in London and The Howling), but there have been a lot of terrible were-movies.  And while some of King's books or stories have resulted in top-notch films, most seem to be inspired by his more dramatic offerings and not the scare-fare that made him famous.  Now, Silver Bullet is no classic, and it isn't one of the best adaptations of King's prose. but it is a fun movie and it surely counts as one of King's solid adaptations.  The story is ripe with the kind of nostalgia that King mastered long, long ago, and it has a worthy cast highlighted by Gary Busey in what I consider to be his best role.  The effects are frequently maligned, but I think they're serviceable at the very least, and despite its age Silver Bullet still provides viewers with a few quality jolts.  The score is one of the highlights, and as is so often the case with King's work, the setting itself (a small town named Tarker's Mills) is also extremely memorable.  It lends itself well to the horror genre; often, the further removed we feel from a picture like this, the harder it is to dig in and enjoy the thrill ride.  That isn't a problem this time out, as most of us have probably lived in or visited a quaint little place like Tarker's Mills at some point in our lives.  All this aside, perhaps the greatest strength of this cool fright flick is the fact that the real hero is a paralytic boy.  This is the type of unique development that takes standard genre fare and elevates it, creating suspense and tension that can't be generated with a typical main character.  Corey Haim was really good as Marty Coslaw, the handicapped youth in question, and his relationship with his sister (Megan Follows as Jane Coslaw) and his crazy uncle (the Busey) ground the picture.  The underrated Everett McGill shines as the cursed Reverend Lowe, bringing his trademark menace to a rich part.  Yes, all the usual King trappings are there: the intriguing characters, the cozy setting, and a nifty plot woven around a terrifying force of evil that must be stopped.  As is often the case, the story that ensues works like a charm.  In closing, Silver Bullet may not hit the bullseye, but it's a far cry from a misfire.  In other words, "Hey Man, Nice Shot." 

Final Grade: B
Let's face it, everyone needs an Uncle Red.

No comments:

Post a Comment