With Eight for Silver, Anthropoid director, Sean Ellis, tries his hand at a werewolf movie. Set in the late 1800s, ever since Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) had a group of gypsies massacred for not giving up their claim to his land, locals have been having nightmares about a set of silver teeth that was buried with one of the victims. Finally, it gets to the point that someone has to dig them up, and the werewolf curse begins.
By taking ideas from vampire mythology and reapplying them to werewolves, Ellis is able to come up with some great concepts. The idea of a Van Helsing for werewolves, for instance – which is basically who Boyd Holbrook plays – could’ve been terrific, except the film never settles on a point of view character. Also promising: telling the story from the point of view of the kids who are paying for their parents’ sins in this movie. Certainly, the visual of werewolf teeth being used like plastic vampire fangs is a lot more effective than the CGI that’s eventually used for the werewolves.
With teeth, you’re much more aware of the humanity of werewolves. It also feels like a modern way of tapping into the classic werewolf guilt for not being in control of your actions, like Lon Chaney Jr. felt in The Wolf Man, except in Eight for Silver you never get to hear from any of the werewolves again after their bitten, so it’s another missed opportunity. Eight for Silver fails to run with its best ideas and, when there are so many other werewolf movies to watch, that can’t slide.
Eight for Silver premiered Saturday, January 30th at the Sundance Film Festival.