Friday, April 14, 2017

Skinwalkers (2006)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Sometimes, I start watching a movie knowing full well that it's a stinker.  Sometimes, I go in thinking that I have a winner.  Usually, though, it's the former.  In this case, I ordered the movie free on demand.  I knew that this was going to be a stinker.

There are several groups of werewolves.  Some try to be good and avoid eating human flesh whereas others get a rush off of the power that chewing on people brings them.  The good werewolves are hiding a child that could bring an end to all werewolves, but it's not clear how this is to happen.  Not even the main characters really know what the boy is supposed to do.  All anyone knows is that on his thirteenth birthday, he'll be able to do something that ends all of werewolfdom.

The movie was a big letdown, even for someone not really into werewolf movies.  I'd imagine that if you're a big fan, you're going to really regret the day you watched this.  The movie has nothing.  It starts with the bad werewolves capturing someone and pumping him for information on the boy.  They want him dead before his thirteenth birthday, which is in four days.  As you might expect, the bad guys figure out where the kid is hiding.  Gunfights ensue.  People get hurt and/or killed.  We end up with a big fight with one good guy taking on three or four bad guys.  Then, the movie ends with a whimper.

It's not that the movie is really hard to watch.  It's just that you're always expecting more.  Like, how did the werewolves originate?  It's implied that there are more of them, but it's not really shown how or where they live.  The boy and his mother seem incredibly unaware of what the boy is.  They're getting a lot of the major facts as the audience is.

The big fight scene at the end is also a big let down.  The mother and son are put in a cage as a means of protection.  It locks from the inside, therefore it must be safe.  It's so safe that one of the bad guys is able to jump through the roof and attack the mother, despite the fact that the boy, who's standing not ten feet away, is the main target.

When the werewolf finally decides to stop attacking the mother, the mother is given the opportunity to blast the werewolf with a shot gun that doesn't seem to need to be reloaded.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't shotguns normally need to be reloaded after only one or two shots?  The mother is able to get off something like four or five shots.  Even if she is reloading, I don't recall her getting any more ammo with the gun.

From the onset of the big final battle, you know that it's going to come down to the last minute.  The party enters this big warehouse and we're told that there's an hour until midnight.  At midnight, the child turns 13 and he'll be able to do whatever it is that he's able to do to get rid of all werewolves.  Conveniently, there's a clock tower nearby that lets everyone know that it's midnight.  The kid's now 13, but he's not doing anything.  Yes, his power is revealed, but in a very mundane way.  I was expecting some big light show or explosions or something.  Instead, it just happens.

There's a reason that free movies don't cost anything.  We have no character development.  There are no real plot twists to speak of.  We have a gun fight where one person gets shot.  It's not even really clear where the name skinwalker comes from.  It sounds like some bad fetish porn movie.

Also, I find it hard to believe that in the entire history of werewolves that this is the first kid to come along and pose a threat.  The child's ability to affect werewolves seems to come from the fact that he's half human.  You're telling me that no werewolf in the history of werewolves had a kid with a human until now?  Again, we're not really presented with much back story here.

If you're looking for a way to waste a few hours, this is your movie.  Otherwise, don't waste your time.  There are many other, better movies out there.

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