Sean Ellis‘s Eight for Silver tells the story of a late Nineteenth-century village that’s cursed when the land baron, Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) brutally slaughters a Roma clan residing on land that he needs to assert. The curse first takes the type of nightmares that the complete city suffers via, then Seamus’ son Edward (Max Waterproof coat) vanishes. Coming in to analyze 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 predominant issues relating to Eight for Silver. The primary is that the ending is given away nearly instantly. The vast majority 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 basic thought 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 outdoors 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 downside. It’s too rattling lengthy. Burdened by extraneous scenes after which excessively lengthy motion sequences, there are only some moments when the story is actually 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 just a little onerous to really feel sympathy for them. The story feels bloated in some elements after which scant in others.
The lore behind the curse is just a little… weak. One thing in regards to the 30 items of silver that was given to Judas in trade for betraying Christ, one thing about some solid silver dentures. It’s very free worldbuilding that’s handwaved away with ominous music, some fog machines, and a nightmarish scarecrow (one of the horrific scenes within the movie). Finally, 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.
Basically the story is a monster looking story with a plot burdened by insanely complicated decisions from the characters — all of it comes right down to a scarcity of communication and logic. Ellis’ cinematography is undeniably spooky and hits the environment 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 stable performer on this enjoying the stolid and down to earth McBride, feeling very very like a Van Helsing. Kelly Reilly can be pleasing 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 evaluation was based mostly on the premiere at Sundance Movie Competition 2021. Picture by Sean Ellis | Courtesy of Sundance Institute.