You know the megaplex is not expecting a film to do well when they run it in a theatre in the auditorium that is about the size of your living room and is as far away from the concession stand as your car in their parking lot.
So it was that the husband unit and I arrived at said megaplex for my next assignment, Skinwalkers. As with the last assignment, Underdog, we found ourselves alone in the theatre when we arrived. This time though, there were no plastic bags on the seats. Rather half eaten popcorn containers and water-downed Cokes littered the theatre, as if the people who had been there before had been snatched away by some unseen force.
So the husband unit and I are a creepy piece of music away from being in a B-horror movie.
Things started looking up when two attractive young women arrived for the show. Did I mention they were wearing high heels? They were quickly followed by three frat boys. Husband unit's and my survival odds were increasing by the minute.
Skinwalkers is about werewolves. The first were Native Americans who thought the power to change into a wolf was a gift. They soon realized it wasn't. There exist two types of Skinwalkers; those that have embraced the bloodlust and those that fight it. Those that fight it strap themselves into leather harnesses at night during the full moon to avoid killing people. Those Skinwalkers that don't fight the bloodlust? It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens.
Timothy and his mother arrive. Timothy has a human mother and a Skinwalker for a dad. Apparently this means Timothy will bring about the end of the Skinwalkers. How, no one knows. He and his mother are clueless about this, but apparently the whole town is in on it and is protecting the two of them.
Hunting little Timothy is a group of the bloodlust Skinwalkers. They want to kill him so that they can keep hunting humans. And who wouldn't?
Now, I am not a horror movie aficionado. But even I saw that Skinwalkers followed the cliched horror movie playbook. As the big family of characters were introduced, I found myself saying, "You're all going to die." And I wasn't much wrong. The black characters don't fare very well. Neither does the girl who dared wear a short skirt to the bar. Mom becomes a gun toting Sarah Connor tribute band by the end of the movie.
And the "big twist" that was supposed to shock me? So obvious I think it was used in the Marvel Comics' Transformers adaptation in the 80s.
Still the movie is not a complete waste. There are tense moments that make you jump. Having a little old lady start the shoot-out and hold her own was kind of cool.
The casting was also well done. Roswell fans will love the fact Jason Behr shows off his six pack. Also of note, Elias Koteas (the original Casey Jones of as Uncle Jonas.
More importantly, Tom "Huron Carol" Jackson players the town Native American watcher. Jackson is a god in Canada. He is a major TV star as well as a well respected musician and philanthropist. And his performance was, as per usual, classically understated and so believable. He alone is worth a star.
So is Barbara Gordon (not Batgirl) as Nana. Kudos also need to go to Matthew Knight, who as young Timothy, gave a very convincing performance.
Unfortunately the talent of the actors have a hard time overcoming the predictability of the script. As much as I want to support a Canadian production, it's probably best to wait for the DVD on this one.