Spudguns! I mentioned the other day that I had a new segment for you guys coming this week. And this would be it. Theme Day Thursdays. Basically, every Thursday for the next few months ( leading up to October) I'm going to cover movies in the same genre (this is part of my Hallowe'en project I was talking about) So December, I thought I'd dive into the werewolf genre.
Movie: Skin Walkers
Starring: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas,
Genre: Action, Thriller
plot: When the signs of a centuries old prophecy begin to take place, two packs of lycanthropes, one wild, one domestic, begin fighting over the life of a boy. Unknown to him, he's the key to the survival of all werewolves. For thirteen years, his uncle and his family have kept him hidden from the rest of the packs, only to be located as the week leading up to the boy's thirteenth birthday. As the boy has begun having nightmares, caused by the blood moon. One of the astrological signs found in the prophecy. The two pack leaders, Jonas and Caleb, begin a turf war of sorts for the boy as Jonas's pack flee the area with the boy in tow, and Caleb's pack hot on their trail. It's soon revealed that Caleb is Jonas's younger brother and the father of the boy; whom everyone thought was dead for the last twelve years.
This opens with another pack of werewolves, whom we do not see again through the film. I always got the impression this was meant to be either a series of movies, or pilot for a tv show.
From there, it becomes a brother vs brother storyline, which could have gotten so much deeper than it did, but instead got jammed up when it falls into a mindless shoot 'em story. And that is my big complaint about this movie. You have a great baseline with an ancient prophecy, a lost love, two brothers who have extremely different belief systems, and a rich folklore to dive into, but instead it just goes for the typical mindlessness.
That aside, I actually love this movie. It's easily one of my favourite werewolf films, simply because of the baseline idea. Add to that the impressive list of Canadian talent in this Elias Koteas, Kim Coates, Tom Jackson and Shawn Roberts, and you've got something you want to sink your teeth into. Wendy Crewson has a brief role at the beginning as the leader of the first pack we see, whom you keep expecting to pop back in, but never does. This is what leads me to thinking this was designed to create sequels/tv show.
There is a moment in the story, where you see the boy's mother get clawed by one of the pack, and the idea is planted that she's going to turn, but it never happens. You're left wondering if that's because of the hero moment the boy brings, or if that's because she wasn't born a lycan? This is never explained, which if it had been given a sequel would have been an interesting next step in the story.
I think so much more could have been done with the expansion of the pack member's characters.
And I have to say, I love the nod to the "wolfman" with the characters' last name being Talbot.
And I get to play my favourite game : how many cast members have done vampire movies? Elias Koteas went on to play the detective in the 2010 film Let Me In, Kim Coates has played a vampire in an episode of Dracula the Series in 1990, Red Blooded American Girl (1990) Innocent Blood (1992) and was in Rufus (2012) Natassia Malthe played a vampire in the 2005 film Bloodsuckers, Bloodryane 2 Deliverance (2007) Bloodrayne 3 the Third Reich (2011) Rhona Mita played a vampire in 2009 in Underworld 3 Rise of the Lycans, and Jason Behr did an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997.
Well, that's about it for now. I'll be back next Thursday, but in the meantime, don't forget to check out the rest of the Hallowe'en project on my facebook page
328 Days till Hallowe'en 2018.
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