Synopsis: A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters
Marketing itself as “funniest horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead” was a bold and, ultimately misleading, tactic. Shaun of the Dead is to horror comedy what Goodfellas is to wiseguy movies or Dark Knight is to superhero movies; a genre definer. Thats not to say Slither isn’t entertaining, but I would check your expectations at the door and set them a little lower than that.
Firing a scattergun across the spectrum of horror fiends and ghouls, Slither is a fairly run of the mill comedy horror that borrows heavily from a host of other movies. When a meteor carrying an alien organism (Evolution) crashes into the woods outside of a small town in rural America, it buries itself into local douchebag Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) and begins to metamorphosis him (The Fly). After a couple of days his wife Starla (Lizzy Banks) becomes concerned at his change in behavior. When a local girl last seen with Grant goes missing the rest of the town become concerned, not least local all-round-nice-guy-cop Bill (Nathan Fillion). It soon becomes apparent that the rest of the town are at risk of being taken over by the alien life form (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and become ravenous for meat (any zombie movie ever).
The tropes come so thick and fast during Slither that it is difficult to know whether they are a tongue in cheek pastiche or the script is particularly unoriginal. I suspect it is a bit of both. Thankfully what it lacks in originality the cast just about make up for in some snappy dialogue and a bucket of charisma and charm from Banks and Fillion. To be fair I watched this mainly because of Nathan Fillion. I will admit I have a small man crush. Michael Rooker is great as Grant Grant but after the first 20 minutes he is essentially required to snarl. He does it exceptionally well though. Gregg Henry as the profanity spewing mayor and general coward is a scene stealer at times.
While certainly no classic, and at times lacking an identity from the mishmash of styles and genre nods, Slither is a fun and satisfyingly gory addition to the comedy horror genre. Saying that I would watch any of the movies I mentioned above before I watched this.
Conclusion: Fun, silly and forgettable, mainly because it tried to be all things to all horror fans.
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, Brenda James