One man's struggle to contain the curse he hides within... and his last-ditch attempt to free himself with the love of family. But when it looks as if he is losing his battle, and ... See full summary »
The small town of Tarker's Mills was a place that was very peaceful, where nothing extraordinary ever happened until one night when murders began. The townspeople believe it's some maniacal killer on the loose whom they intend to hunt down. Marty, a young handicapped boy, believes the killer is no man at all, but a werewolf. After a run-in with the werewolf, Marty and his sister Jane hunt all over town for the man who is the werewolf. Written by
The Coslaw residence was an actual home used in Wilmington, North Carolina. Though the interiors were a set on a sound stage, the actual home itself was relocated in the 1990s to another area in town due to a massive shopping center that was built in it's place. See more »
Marty is in the park flying kites with his friend Brady and is up on a tree limb getting a kite down. Janie helps him down from the tree limb and we see that the limb he is on is too high for him to reach from his chair. See more »
[Older Jane narrating]
The last full moon of that Spring came a little more than a month before school let out for Summer vacation. Our town's long nightmare began that night.
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I was about to turn off the TV as opening titles rolled for Silver Bullet and I saw the "Cycle of the Werewolf" reference, as I really don't care much for fantasy monsters at all. This being a Stephen King, though, I thought I'd give it a look. I'm glad I did.
The difference between this and the standard, cookie-cutter, grade-B monster/werewolf/e-mail-spammer horror flick could be a tutorial for playwrights, screenwriters and cinematographers. Instead of the tired horror-flick plot - monster terrorizes small town after killing some folks (usually with heavy-handed special-effects gore, repeated frequently throughout); populace panics and does a lot of stupid things; standard-issue hero arrives; standard-issue sexy young heroine falls in love with him and the movie ends with the standard-issue hero dispatching the monster moments before monster is about to make standard-issue heroine his/her/its next victim - this one deftly draws on strong theatrical principles and creativity to make the viewing real entertainment.
The young protagonist, who could be a paraplegic edition of ELL-LEE-YUHHT from E.T., his mid-teenage sister, which character, as an adult, opens the story with off-camera narrative (by Tovah Feldshuh), and an equally-charming third kid, who happens to be the boy's uncle and is chronologically but in no other respect an adult, endearingly played by Gary Busey, are developed skilfully as characters in their own right, entirely apart from the werewolf theme. By making us know and care about them, as well as the lesser characters, King creates a warm and personal relationship between them and the audience, something rarely achieved in standard horror/suspense fare. Busey is just right as the uncle who finds responsibility to be rather an impediment to enjoying life.
Injecting just the right touch of comedy where you'd least expect it and making it work - to avoid spoiling, I'll just say something about the woods at night and a bunch of people who don't belong there - a few red herrings to keep you guessing, and one broad clue to the identity of the werewolf that the sharp-eyed and -eared might catch but is otherwise not at all tipping a hand, all combine to hold the interest and attention of the viewer. The knitting-together of various threads - the significance of the monster's attack on the suicidal woman, for one - creates a certain intricacy that typical monster-flick shows rarely have.
Some blood and gore is unavoidable in a story like this; but again, it's handled with skill and delicacy instead of blunt force. The attack scenes are crafted to use the viewer's imagination much more than the special-effects department to create the impression. Watch carefully and you'll notice that the illusion is created by alternating very brief flashes of action streaking by the lens, almost too fast to discern, with establishing shots of the victim's accumulating injuries, with the audio gluing it all together. A few frames of the monster's snout or eyes moving past, a claw (or later on, a club or baseball bat) streaking by, but not not visibly headed for any particular target, horrified looks and increasing amounts of blood from the victim who may get tossed across the room or otherwise propelled violently but you never see the propelling directly, and your imagination does the rest.
It's not the masterpiece of the ages; but it's a film to enjoy once, and then, if you're into the theatrical arts at all, see again - for study.
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