Eight for Silver Movie Review
A gripping and visually stimulating werewolf tale, Eight for Silver is the kind of dark, gruesome, and imperfect horror film that’s easy to feast on.
From writer/director Sean Ellis, Eight for Silver follows an upper class family in the 1800s who pay the ultimate price after the patriarch massacres a Roma clan and steals their land. The massacre unleashes a curse that… isn’t pleasant.
Ellis establishes in the opening scene, which actually takes place decades later during World War I trench warfare, that Eight for Silver is going to be an all-consuming experience (frankly, I would love Ellis to make a WWI werewolf movie, or hell, just a WWI movie, as his next venture). It’s a beautifully shot sequence, an indicator of what is to come. Painted with greys and greens and browns, the movie looks incredible, defying whatever budget he blew through to make this horror-thriller. It’s a slick piece of filmmaking, aside from the shaky/blurry cam put into effect every time the werewolf attacks (why??).
Eight for Silver, at nearly two hours, is probably 20 minutes too long for a werewolf film, but Ellis maintains a solid pace nonetheless. He interlaces jumpy dream sequences with scenes of cursed scarecrows and traditional werewolf gore, a messy concoction that at times can seem like throwing everything and anything to see what sticks; but it all works, the amalgamation of it all resulting in a sense of gothic grandeur.
Eight for Silver isn’t perfect--it has flaws and elements that are best not to think about too hard--but as far as splashy horror goes, there’s a lot to love here.
This movie was reviewed as part of coverage of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.