Sean Ellis‘s Eight for Silver tells the story of a late 19th-century village that’s cursed when the land baron, Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) brutally slaughters a Roma clan dwelling on land that he desires to say. The curse first takes the type of nightmares that your complete city suffers by, then Seamus’ son Edward (Max Waterproof coat) vanishes. Coming in to research is pathologist John McBride (Boyd Holbrook), who brings with him tales of supernatural beasts. Slowly, the village is consumed by the horrific curse and it’s as much as McBride to avoid wasting them earlier than they’re all consumed by it.
Whereas ghoulish and atmospheric, there are two primary issues with regards to Eight for Silver. The primary is that the ending is given away nearly instantly. Nearly all of the story of the curse is definitely positioned in a flashback. We first meet John McBride within the type of a closely made-up Boyd Holbrook. There isn’t any pressure within the movie as a result of we have already got a normal concept of the headcount of the movie. The stakes are low. We aren’t given a lot time to bond with most of the different characters exterior of the Laurent household and McBride, which is gorgeous as a result of the movie is a whopping 115 minutes lengthy.
This results in the second drawback. It’s too rattling lengthy. Burdened by extraneous scenes after which excessively lengthy motion sequences, there are only some moments when the story is really gripping. These are the scene when the townspeople are being stalked by the unseen beast that’s terrorizing their city. The supply of this beast comes from a Roma curse, and after witnessing their slaughter by the hands of Laurent and the townspeople, it’s somewhat arduous to really feel sympathy for them. The story feels bloated in some components after which scant in others.
The lore behind the curse is somewhat… weak. One thing concerning the 30 items of silver that was given to Judas in trade for betraying Christ, one thing about some cast silver dentures. It’s very unfastened worldbuilding that’s handwaved away with ominous music, some fog machines, and a nightmarish scarecrow (some of the horrific scenes within the movie). In the end, what comes of the curse is mainly a werewolf. McBride compares it to the Beast of Gévaudan, a real-life man-eating beast from the late 18th century that impressed many werewolf tales.
Primarily the story is a monster searching story with a plot burdened by insanely complicated decisions from the characters — all of it comes all the way down to a scarcity of communication and logic. Ellis’ cinematography is undeniably spooky and hits the ambiance of gothic horror proper on the nostril. The attention towards physique horror within the transformation right into a werewolf sidesteps some overdone transformation scenes properly. Holbrook is a strong performer on this taking part in the stolid and grounded McBride, feeling very very similar to a Van Helsing. Kelly Reilly can also be fulfilling as Isabelle Laurent, Seamus’ spouse and the woman of the home. She and Holbrook have good chemistry which could have served them properly in a subplot, however that goes largely unexplored.
From the misplaced potential to the pointless body narrative, Eight for Silver stumbles towards the end line regardless of delightfully ghoulish and powerfully atmospheric directing and the potential of an indulgent gothic horror.
This movie overview was primarily based on the premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2021. Picture by Sean Ellis | Courtesy of Sundance Institute.