Skinwalkers wears its B-movie badness on its sleeve like a badge of honor. Unlike the wannabe Snakes on a Plane, James Isaac’s creation embraces the sleaziness inherent to its subject matter, content to flex its muscles on a small scale rather than disingenuously trying to amp up its importance via a phony pass at spooky mysticism (I’m talking to you, Dead Silence). Tedious exposition makes the film considerably rough going for the first reel or so, but once the various chess pieces have been aligned into their necessary places, watching the ensuing chaos is nothing short of delirious. The title refers to a race of werewolf-like creatures, some who view their transformative nature as a blessing, others as a curse. The war between these two factions is coming to a close as the subject of a prophecy nears his 13th birthday; the young boy, previously unaware of his importance to this ongoing battle, is said to have the power to end the Skinwalker curse for good. Given the film’s scant attention to characterization, motive, and even subtlety, its unlikely that anyone is going to truly care about the outcome of this central conflict, but who needs that when watching a revolver-packing granny kick werewolf ass is just as satisfying? Though the film remains within its PG-13 limitations (no doubt to allow for an unrated DVD a few months down the road), its grungy delights are many, from the villains who bay menacingly at the moon for no apparent reason to a head-spinning montage of werewolf sex and time-lapse shots of a blood red sky. Movies like this aren’t enjoyed for their craft or art, but for their sleaze and vigor, and in that regard Skinwalkers is truly, inarguably alive.
- James Isaac
- James DeMonaco, Todd Harthan
- Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rona Mitra, Kim Coates, Natassia Malthe, Matthew Knight, Sarah Carter, Tom Jackson, Rogue Johnston, Barbara Gordon, Shawn Roberts, Lyriq Bent
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