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Movie Review: Skinwalkers

Skinwalkers (Lionsgate, 2007)
Directed by James Isaac
Written by James DeMonaco, Todd Harthan, and James Roday

People are probably going to start thinking that the Doc only watches horror movies since so far in my short stint the genre has amounted to probably 90% of my reviews. However, I want to state for a fact that this is not true. Lately, I’ve been catching up on a lot of the 2007 releases from earlier in the year that I missed, and the ones that I see The Projectionist didn’t get to I’ll throw up a review for.

I’ve been watching plenty recently that don’t fall directly in the horror category, but have really felt no need to review them since the man upstairs and I have basically the same opinion on them already. I decided to throw up very quick summations of a few of these since this will be a lot more interesting than anything I have to say about Skinwalkers.

Recently, I’ve seen: Mr. Brooks (Loved it), Paprika (Didn’t get a single frame of it, but I loved it), Ratatouille (Loved It), Blades of Glory (Thought it was stupid), The Host (A tad overrated but liked it), 300 (Loved Every Testosterone Dripping Frame of It), and Talk To Me (Surprisingly liked it a lot since I usually don’t like biopics). So, there you go, I watch a lot of different types of films.

Now, I will get back to the film at hand. Skinwalkers is apparently Indian for werewolf; it doesn’t really translate that specifically, but this movie doesn’t translate very well to anything worth a shit, so who really cares?

There is yet another prophecy of a young boy who will grow up to (Fill in the Blank). In this case, young Timothy (Matthew Knight) will be able to cure all of the world’s werewolves and turn them back to human on his 13th birthday. His mother was human and his father was a werewolf, so something about his half-breed blood will take away the curse of the wolf.

His family, mostly werewolves or skinwalkers if you prefer, is all about making this event happen. There is a group of biker wolves however, led by the sinister Varek (a barely recognizable Jason Behr), that have no interest in this happening, so they are set out to kill the child before his birthday. His 13th birthday will take place three days from when the film begins.

The first twenty minutes or so of the film are not that bad, and I was beginning to think that maybe the critics got it wrong when this movie opened to crickets chirping back in August. There’s a fun shootout sequence in the small town where the boy resides. However, I once again have to ask the question that has been bugging me since those stupid Underworld movies: Why in the hell do werewolves need to shoot guns?

After this, the movie is basically a chase film. The family is moving around with Timothy in their decked out RV with the evil biker gang close on their heels. We get a few more shootouts and a final showdown at some kind of factory. None of this is very interesting, and the final sequence confused the hell out of me. Timothy and his mom are shacked up at a hotel where werewolves who want the cure show up so they can get some of the kids’ blood. If the creatures have a choice, then what the hell do the bikers care if the boy gets to cure some or not? Why can’t they just miss out on the transfusion?

James Isaac, who has also directed the classic horror films Jason X and The Horror Show, doesn’t show an ounce of originality in any of the scenes. He doesn’t even seem to give two shits that perfectly capable actors like Rhona Mitra and Elias Koteas are walking through their roles. Nor does he even seem to mind the fact that we are told in the beginning the boy will turn 13 in three days and two days later he magically has a birthday.

Stan Winston, usually reliable with the F/X, creates some pretty stupid looking creatures. This could have been a budget issue, but still they look stupid. The funniest part being that all of the guys are fully coated in hair when they change, but the hot biker chick (Natassia Malthe) only changes in her face. Otherwise, we wouldn’t get to see her bouncing cleavage. Wait! That actually might be the best part about this film.

You get the idea. There is nothing you haven’t seen before, or done well enough for you to want to see it again. This is a shame too because it has been far too long since we’ve had a good werewolf movie, but sadly, this isn’t the one that will break the slump.


Sam Loomis

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