Skinwalkers

"Bad"

Skinwalkers Review


Apparently, it's pretty hard to update the classic movie monsters. When filmmakers aren't turning every well known cinematic creep into a fey Eurotrash version of their former scary selves, they're reinventing the mythology into a mindless "gee whiz" joke. So it only seems fair that after zombies got hyper-activated and vampires gained the glum Goth seal of approval, werewolves would be next on the pointless reinvention list. And thanks to the New Age Native American tweak entitled Skinwalkers, these formerly ferocious beasts got the incredibly short end of the post-modern scream stick.

There's an ongoing war between two lupine factions. On the one side are those who feel that the ancient ability to shapeshift is a curse, and want desperately for an ambiguous prophecy to be fulfilled. Then there are the blood-addicted, supernatural junkies who love killing so much that they want to keep the foretold omen from occurring. And what is this fabled forecast? Seems a young boy, born of human mother and wolfman seed, will turn 13 and... well, that part's not all that clear. Apparently, once the kid hits puberty, he will put the depressed beasts out of their misery while buzz killing the other lycanthropes happy hunting. So naturally, one side protects the brat (named Timmy), while the other is looking to carve up his adolescent guts.

In the unsure hands of Jason X director James Isaac, what we wind up with is a creaky, quasi-spaghetti splatter fest without a drop of blood or a set of believable baddies. It really is hard to tell what's more depressing here -- the lack of gore (the film was apparently ravaged to earn that mainstream mandated PG-13) or the so-called "special" effects created by Stan Winston's studios. While fright fans can accept a lack of gore, the incredibly lame werewolf makeup is an unconscionable fright film shonda. The creatures look like pissed off members of the Beauty and the Beast touring company, except far less realistic. It's safe to say that monkeys with a pile of modeling clay and their slight simian knowledge of horror movie icons could devise better beasts than these.

The acting doesn't help matters either. Among the good guy/ghouls are Elias Koteas (as low key leader Jonas) and the mannequin-like Rhona Mitra (who plays Timmy's brooder as a combination of wide-eyed wails), while evil is represented by the hellbent for leather and rock and roll clichés of Jason Behr (as the cocksure Varek) and Natassai Malthe (as his always horny hot side-chick). Among abandoned, atmospheric one horse towns and equally unoccupied woodland settings, the battle to save/slaughter Tim rages in Hong Kong-copied slo-mo bullet ballets and one too many animalistic shrieks. When not emptying semi-automatics into each other, we get moments of werewolf sex and scenes where our heroes apply an elaborate series of restraints to themselves so as to survive the night without the temptation of tearing flesh.

In the end, none of it makes a lick of sense. Guns can apparently kill these fiends (though possibly with the help of some silvered ammunition) while their own bite fails to turn a single slain victim. Timmy's power is never made clear, and when it finally arrives, it seems like the biggest case of paranormal happenstance in the history of monsters (either that, or a direct rip-off of X-Men 3). Issac wants to make a moody, revisionist macabre where reality merges with the unreal to create a grave sense of plausibility. But the dumb as dirt effects, along with the paltry performances, mean that Skinwalkers stinks like a mangy animal's fetid coat. You'll be "howling" with laughter over this unnecessary creature update.

The DVD contains a making-of featurette, pre-visualization and digital effects comparisons, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary with director Isaac.

This bites.



Skinwalkers

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th August 2007

Box Office USA: $1.0M

Distributed by: Lions Gate Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 32

IMDB: 4.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: James Isaac

Producer: Dennis Berardi, ,

Starring: as Varek, as Jonas, as Rachel Talbot, as Sonja, as Zo, as Katherine, Tom Jackson as Will

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.