Skinwalkers (2006)

Director: James Isaac

Writer: James DeMonaco, Todd Harthan, James Roday (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Natassia Malthe, Kim Coates, Sarah Carter, Tom Jackson

 

Plot: A 12 year old boy and his mother become the targets of two warring werewolf packs, each with different intentions and motives.


Tagline – For them to live, we must die.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Werewolf 101

 

Story: Skinwalkers starts as Varek (Behr) leads the hunt for a young boy for his werewolf pack, joined by Sonja (Malthe) he learns the location of Timothy (Knight) which takes him to small town to collect him.

Varek didn’t count on Timothy being under the watch of another prepared werewolf pack led by Jonas (Koteas) and his daughter-in-law Rachel (Mitra) who wasn’t ready to learn the truth that on Tim’s 13th birthday everything changes in the battle.

 

Thoughts on Skinwalkers

 

Characters – Varek is the leader of the werewolf pack that wants Timothy dead to stop the event he will cause, he hunts calmly through the film knowing how to get ahead of his enemies, though he is unaware of his connection to the child. Jonas has been protecting his nephew for years now, knowing what he means to the species, he has built the team his truss around him to make sure he is safe. Rachel is the mother of Timothy, she thinks he is just a normal kid and that she lives in a normal town, he must learn fast how to cope in this world filled with werewolves and protect her son. Sonja is the deadliest fighter on Varek side of the war, she enjoys hurting people and we see her take pleasure in this.

PerformancesJason Behr as the conflicted werewolf is good to watch, he shines on the bad boy side of this story, though when he must show the other side of the emotions we see him struggle at times. Elias Koteas is strong for his role which is one that we often see him in. Rhona Mitra does well in the reluctant heroes being the strong need to learn to battle mother figure in the film. everyone else in the film is fine without needing to be anything special, they fit their roles well to help the story flow.

StoryThe story here follows two warring werewolf packs that know the importance of a child for both their existences, so basically something we have seen before only with a modern style to it. The fact the story does feel like an introduction to a much big world building idea is promising and while it isn’t the film’s fault we didn’t see the next chapter, it does show us how story telling can think ahead of time. If we are being honest this is a by the book storyline, it doesn’t bring us anything new to the werewolf mythology it just tries to keep it in the modern world.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action sequences are mixed bag because we have shoot-out which are routine and lack the peril for certain characters, while the fights show the effects that two werewolves fighting would have on each other. The fantasy world of werewolves living among humans is nicely done, showing two sides to them, though the horror does seem weak because we never feel terrified by what we are seeing.

SettingsThe film uses the settings in a mix of quality and generic, the small town gets the big surprise with everyone being part of the protection, then we hit the road and its nothing we haven’t seen before.

Special EffectsThe effects for the werewolves and wounds look nice, its just most are hidden from the full effect of the shock.


Scene of the Movie –
Town stand off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are a few blink and you miss it moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book werewolf film, it has good moments, it has forgettable moments and ends up feeling like the pilot for a television show.

 

Overall: The werewolf genre done safely.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Crime – W – We Still Kill the Old Way (2014)

Director: Sacha Bennett

Writer: Sacha Bennett, Dougie Brimson, Gary Lawrence, Colin Lomax, Rod Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Ian Ogilvy, Alison Doody, Christopher Ellison, Danny-Boy Hatchard, Lysette Anthony, James Cosmo, Steven Berkoff

 

Plot: When retired East End villain Charlie Archer is murdered by a feral street gang, his brother Ritchie returns to London from Spain to investigate.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical British Gangster Film

 

Story: We Still Kill the Old Way starts as we see a new hooligan gang led by Aaron (Hatchered) causing havoc in the streets of London, they use their numbers to beat, harass or threaten their victims, which sees them clash with legendary Charlie Archer (Berkoff), killing him. Charlie’s brother Ritchie (Ogilvy) has been living away in Spain, with Susan Taylor (Doody) leading the investigation.

When Ritchie gets the news, he heads back to London in search for answers, which sees him bring back the old gang Roy (Ellison), Arthur (Cosmo) and Butch (Denham) to hunt down Aaron and his gang.

 

Thoughts on We Still Kill the Old Way

 

Characters – Ritchie is the respected former gangster of the streets of London, retired now, living in Spain, he returns after the murder of his brother, bring his old gang together to take on the younger gang that is running terror in the old neighbourhood. He remains in control of each situation knowing how to play each and everyone of the gang, police and neighbourhood to remain under the radar. Susan is the lead detective investigating the case, she wants a clean answer, though she does know what Ritchie is capable off. Roy is one of the gang, he enjoys helping Ritchie, missing the old ways the gang once had. Aaron is the leader of the gang of hooligans running chaos around London, his behaviour is complete disgrace, you will hate him from the opening scene, from the way he treats his girlfriend to the way he treats the elders.

PerformancesIan Ogilvy in the leading role gives us a proper cockney gangster figure we can believe in. Alison Doody makes for a solid local cop. Christopher Ellison will strike fear in anybody that crosses him, while Danny-Boy Hatchard makes his character truly disposable.

StoryThe story follows a retired gangster that returns to his old stamping ground after his brother is murdered by a young gang causing problems in his old neighbourhood. This is the basic revenge film in the way Ritchie conducts his business, while mixing the idea that the new generation isn’t respecting the old style of the people who ran the area before them, they have no rules or manners. It is good to see the whole gang being truly hated and how respected the old generation is around the area. There are certain side stories that are overly tagged in and with Lauren is one of the worst characters in the history of film.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action is plenty of side ways pointed guns trying to be threatening, while having close up brutal punches being delivered. The crime side of the film uses the ideas of the two different generations of gangs in the underworld, this does give an element of comedy to how the older gang acts the town.

SettingsThe film is set in London’s east end which shows us how the gangs operate around the neighbourhood.


Scene of the Movie –
Hospital shoot out.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lauren’s decision-making.

Final ThoughtsThis is a proper gangster film set in London which does work well with everything it is trying to do with the clash of gangs in London.

 

Overall: Fun gangster film.

Rating