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Eight for Silver (Review) Sundance

Eight for Silver (Review) Sundance
7 10

Sundance film festival 2021

PLOT: In the late 19th century, a brutal landowner slaughters a Roma clan and finds his family cursed. When villagers start getting ripped to shreds by a wolf-like creature and his son is abducted, a pathologist (Boyd Holbrook) whose own family was slaughtered by a similar creature comes to investigate.

REVIEW: Eight for Silver offers a unique take on werewolf lore. Taking some real-life inspiration from the notorious Beast of Gévaudan, which inspired the great Brotherhood of the Wolf, this is a historically-tinged horror thriller that’s a classy addition to the genre and helped along by stylish direction and a rugged leading man in a cast-against-tyle Boyd Holbrook.

Adopting a subtle English accent, he’s a haunted pathologist whose wife and child were killed in Gévaudan, making him an authority on what’s happening in this new village, which has the genocide of its Roma people to answer for. When they came to reclaim their birthright, the people were violently slaughtered by mercenaries working for its landowners, the most notorious of whom is Alistair Petrie’s Seamus. Undoubtedly an evil man, something Holbrook’s character quickly deduces, he sticks around out of sympathy to the man’s unloved wife (Kelly Reilly) and his innocent children.

eight for silver Sundance review

Extremely gory and surprisingly slick, Eight for Silver feels more like the kind of acquisition title you’d see at TIFF, but it's nevertheless a nice bit of counter-programming for the festival. While somewhat predictable, the design of the wolf, or rather the metamorphosis that takes place is unique. So original in fact that I wouldn’t want to spoil it here as I was legitimately taken aback when it happened.

While Holbrook seems an odd choice for a historical thriller, he plays his part sensitively, having real compassion for Reilly and her children. Likewise, Reilly is about as good a piece of casting as you could ever hope for in a movie like this, and evokes a lot of sympathy throughout, while Petrie is perhaps more diabolical than the wolves themselves.

The film, which is directed by Metro Manilla’s Sean Ellis, has a very classy feel to it, with a good score by Robin Foster that hits some John Carpenter-style notes. The violence is extremely graphic, with lots of folks being torn limb from limb, although the most gruesome and hard bit to watch is the early Roma clan slaughter, which is purposefully shocking. My one issue with it is that the middle section of the film is a little flabby after the dynamic first act, and it runs a shade too long at close to two hours. It also takes a long time for Holkbrook’s character to make his full introduction into the film, an issue when he’s your heroic lead. Reilly also could have been given a little more to do as the film went on, as she occasionally felt like window dressing.

While it’s not a stone-cold classic of the genre, Eight for Silver nonetheless has a few truly striking moments and a couple of gruesome sequences that stand out from the pack. It’s an enjoyable horror thriller that should earn some fans once it comes out, and is worth keeping an eye out for if you’re into this genre.

Source: JoBlo.com

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