5 out of 5

Director: James Gunn

I think my overall rule for the horror genre is that you can’t cop out. Admittedly, that allows for a lot of grey area, but essentially – make the film you set out to make. In the case of Slither, director James Gunn supposedly set out to make a gory, gross, funny and dumb-smart horror film. And he succeeded on all accounts. “Slither” gets to the point quickly but smoothly, establishing its main trio of characters – sherrif Nathan Fillion, love interest / teacher Elizabeth Banks, and her older, wealthy husband Michael Rooker – with a good balance of quirks and personality. Even Rooker, who is mostly a jerk, and becomes the villain, is given shades of humanity not normally seen in the genre. Regardless, once the roles are in place, an alien parasite lands, stings Michael Rooker, and then the groovy gross stuff begins. It doesn’t get too heavy with explanations, save some helpful exposition on the how’s and why’s of the parasite, but instead plays out the “parasite infects town” plot with mass havoc and fun. In the “keeping true to your movie” category, there’s a high bodycount, and they stay dead, and good people have gross things happen to them. CGI is always applied excellently, things mostly done practical until computer gloss is needed, which keeps things very earthy. The dumb-smart comes across in the characters. These are small town people, with small town ideas and phrases, and its all played purposefully quaint, but they still do what they need to do to blow up some squiddy things. Tons of fun – absolutely along the lines of Evil Dead, Drag Me To Hell, Dead Alive, etc.

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