"There are no such things as werewolves!"
Marty is like the rest of his small town, he's scared. His best friend was torn to pieces, the girl he had a crush on left town out of fear & adults around him were dropping like mangled flies. Someone is hunting people and he knows who it is. But can he convince anyone before it's too late? Or is he just a boy crying werewolf?
When it comes to movies based off of books I tend to choose one form of the story over the other; rarely do adaptations flow as well as the books & vice versa. That goes with the works of Stephen King as well. Though many love his books, I enjoy the movie adaptations far more so.
Starting off with a great cast that includes the late James Gammon who begins the film by losing his head (literally)
, Silver Bullet's frame work is centered strongly on its talent. Everett McGill (people under the stairs)
is just perfect for Reverend Lowe as his past film credits prove he has the right physical & acting features for such a distorted character. Gary Busey plays Uncle Red so soundly you are unsure which is the characters traits & what is just Busey's natural charms. Megan Follows does a wonderful job as being the character to bring you in & out of the story with disbelief to reluctant acceptance and finally a satisfying resolution. And last but most definitely not least is the late very young talented Corey Haim who delivers Marty Coslaw flawlessly.
Silver Bullet, though a werewolf film by nature, is like many of King's films. It is more about growth & acceptance of oneself & the unnatural world they live in than the creatures that haunt them. Marty is crippled, Jane has to bare the brunt of being a child & a caretaker at once, Uncle Red is a drunk buddy with a need to keep Marty from ending up like himself & Reverend Lowe is a tortured religious man. Though the horrors of a monster stalking them all is brought upon you by the story encased in smart directing, the cinematography is bright and well refined, there is no real true darkness in this film. Even the werewolf has light hazel eyes versus pitch black soulless pupils.
It is this that makes this film separate from others. When you find Marty cornered not once but twice before the final show down, you don't fear the being staring at him intently with hunger, you fear his perceived inability to defend himself. It is the Scream Queen effect without a leading female. Though they are an assembled cast and Jane voices over when necessary, it is, in the end, Marties story. None of them can proceed individually without him. I love this about King's works. He acknowledges the improbability of the paranormal entity in his stories but he allows for other natural horrors to seep in and distort or enhance your perception of the world they are built in. You could easily be Marty, or Jane, or Uncle Red...or even Reverend Lowe.
So if you are looking for a classic werewolf film from the 80s era where so many great horror films were released, check out Silver Bullet. I watched it on netflix and I was amazed at the quality of the film. It was sharp & bright and if it wasn't for the clothes & cars you would not have been able to date it.
Until Next Time,
Sit back, relax & don't forget to breath!