Though a statement at the opening of the film explains that the creatures of the title are, in Native American lore, people who have the ability to transform into various animals, SKINWALKERS focuses on two warring factions of werewolves. One is a fami......more
Though a statement at the opening of the film explains that the creatures of the title are, in Native American lore, people who have the ability to transform into various animals, SKINWALKERS focuses on two warring factions of werewolves. One is a family concentrated on protecting Timothy (Matthew Knight), a boy about to turn 13 who is the offspring of mortal Rachel (Rhona Mitra) and a Skinwalker. Timothy's family, led by kindly Uncle Jonas (Elias Koteas), chooses to avoid slaughtering innocents during full moons by restraining themselves in straps in the back of a beaten traveling camper. Their rival clan, captained by Varek (Jason Behr), lives with a leather-clad biker gang, riding from town to town and reveling in their bloodlust. When the clock strikes midnight on Timothy's birthday, he will be able to (in terms not explicitly spelled out) end the bloody reign of the Skinwalkers--but not if Varek and his gang can catch and kill Timothy before he officially becomes a teenager.
SKINWALKERS focuses more on its action sequences than on the horror elements, but those seeking a good chase sequence will find plenty to enjoy in the film's second half. Director James Isaac (JASON X) gives the film a graphic novel-like visual style, with plenty of red tints and scenes of rising moons. Elias Koteas (CRASH, EXOTICA) seems to be having fun as a werewolf patriarch, but veteran Canadian supporting actress Barbara Gordon seems to be enjoying herself even more as a pistol-packing grandma. Stan Winston's creature designs resemble the man-beast creations from 1977's ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU more than they do Rick Baker or Rob Bottin's revisionist werewolves from AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HOWLING, but they are effective nonetheless.
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