Written and directed by James Gunn and released in 2006, Slither is a Horror/Comedy. The film has a recognizable cast with Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker and Lloyd Kaufman. If you’re wondering who Lloyd Kaufman is, do yourself a favor and look him up. Slither performed poorly at the box office and had some harsh criticisms due the plot similarity to the cult classic Night of the Creeps. While yes Slither has more than a handful like of similarities to Night of the Creeps like the entire premise. Slither is still really good, so good I really don’t care that much about how similar they may be.
Slither follows the events in a small town after an alien parasite crash land, infecting the brain of local man Grant Grant (Michael Rooker). He proceeds to terrorize the town as he transforms into a tentacle monster. Grant then abducts a local woman, Brenda (Brenda James) and infects her turning her in a giant swollen creature womb full of his young. Local Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) and deputies along with Grant’s wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) come across Brenda in a remote barn while searching for Grant. She explodes showering the area with more slug like alien parasites that quickly infect some of the deputies by crawling into their mouths turning them into mindless drones for the aliens. The slugs spread across town, infecting the vast majority of the population, leaving only Pardy, Starla, the town mayor Jack MacReady (Gregg Henry) and a teenage girl who escapes infection, but momentarily bonds with the creature learning its origins Kylie Strutemyer (Tania Saulnier) and intentions. Starla gets captured by infected townsfolk and brought to her husband now grossly transformed, leaving Pardy along the other survivors to try and save Starla while stopping the infection from spreading.
Slither if very well acted from everyone involved and pays a lot of homage to other horror films and B-Movies. Which is why it feels so much like night of the creeps, well other than the alien slugs that enter peoples mouths turning them into alien controlled zombies. I feel the acting as most other thing that is actually superior to Night of the Creeps and out of the two films this is the one Ill chose. This is in large part to the stellar cast with some of my favorite actors at the helm. While Nathan Fillion is his normal quirky and charming self, it’s Micheal Rooker that makes this movie shine for me and I’m positive that I’m not the only one who feels so. Another actor that sticks out in this film for me Saulnier and I’m kind of sad she doesn’t have a larger body of work.
It’s the constant subtle and not so subtle reference to other horror films that make me love this film. I feel that Slither does a better job at being subtler at it than Night of the Creeps was. My favorite is the recreation of the classic Freddy’s gloved hand in the bathtub scene from Nightmare on Elm Street.
Final thoughts, I really like this movie and heavily recommend it. It features some very gorey scenes and is actually quite scary. The idea of things crawling into mouth to control me… ick, Slither is also very clever, at times witty and always enjoyable. Some people let the debate around how similar it is to Night of the Creeps drag down the film. In my opinion, just relax and enjoy Slither for what it is, a good horror movie 8/10.