Plot: What’s it about?
The small town of Tarker’s Mills is usually quiet, laid back, and reserved, but of late, a strange presence has been in the area. The once serene town has been rocked by a series of brutal, sadistic murders, which are always horrific in nature and feature mutilation, dismemberment, and even cannibalism. As you’d expect, these events have the locals in shambles and they believe a madman is on the loose, but some think it could be a darker, more supernatural force at work. After extensive searches and stakeouts, a mysterious creature is seen once per month and during that time period, the locals lock themselves tightly within their homes. So if the blood soaked menace has no place to feed, then it might go away, but of course, there’s always someone who goes against the grain and resists. In this case, it is thirteen year old Marty (Corey Haim) and after his encounter with the beast, he is determined to end its reign of terror.
Although his books sell like hotcakes, Stephen King has never found much cinematic success with his stories, though countless filmmakers have tried. In this case however, I can’t imagine anyone thinking Silver Bullet would buck that trend, since it seems poised to mingle with mediocrity right from the start. I mean, we have a werewolf movie that stars Corey Haim and Gary Busey, did anyone really expect horror history to happen here? But I digress, as Silver Bullet is not the worst of the King adaptations and in the end, it is a decent genre picture. The atmosphere is basic, but usually effective and of course, some nice werewolf attacks are found here. I do wish the gore were more liberally used and some additional suspense tossed in, but even so, Silver Bullet deserves a once over from genre fans. But as usual, Paramount has issued an underfeatured, overpriced disc and as such, a rental is all I can recommend.
This film was made before he was able to hit the big leagues, but even so, the usual elements of a Corey Haim performance are on showcase. I’ve never understood why he is so bashed, but then again, his talent is middling, to be kind. He is able to handle this role well enough, but seems a little lost at times, a trademark of his, of course. It is odd to see him in a wheelchair though and he plays it with a natural presence, quite well done. Of course, he would peak soon after this film and enjoy a brief moment in the sun, before bottoming out and being pushed into the world of low rent, direct to video projects. Other films with Haim include Prayer of the Rollerboys, The Lost Boys, Lucas, and Blown Away. The cast also includes Gary Busey (Black Sheep, The Firm), Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables, Sin of Innocence), and Everett McGill (The People Under the Stairs, The Straight Story).
Video: How does it look?
Silver Bullet is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The image here is better than expected, with a much cleaner print used and a sharper overall picture than I had anticipated. I saw only minor flaws with the print, such as small nicks and such, while grain was minimal at all times. The colors have held up well, with only a few instances of fading present and contrast is solid also, deep blacks and superb detail throughout. Not the kind of transfer that makes your head spin, but a terrific effort from Paramount.
Audio: How does it sound?
A nice, clean mono option is included, but don’t expect much beyond the basics. I noticed no source flaws, so the elements are always well presented, but this is mono and as such, the audio is still not too memorable. The musical score sounds clear and well mixed, while the various sound effects are in fine form too, or as fine as mono allows. No issues with dialogue either, as every word is easy to understand and volume balance is never a problem. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As has become a frequent trend with Paramount discs, this release contains no bonus materials.