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SKINWALKERS (director: Jim Isaac; screenwriters: Todd Harthan/James Demonaco/James Roday; cinematographer: David Armstrong; editor: Allan Lee; music: Andrew Lockington; cast: Matthew Knight (Tim), Jason Behr (Varek), Elias Koteas (Jonas), Rhona Mitra (Rachel), Kim Coates (Zo), Natassia Malthe (Sonja), Sarah Carter Doak (Katherine), Tom Jackson (Will), Rogue Johnston (Grenier), Barbara Gordon (Nana), Shawn Roberts (Adam), Lyriq Bent (Doak); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Don Carmody; Lionsgate; 2006-US/Canada/Germany)
Hackneyed horror pic.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Skinwalkers (Navajo idiom for “shape-shifter”) refers here to wolf-men and wolf-women. This hackneyed horror pic and coming-of-age story is not scary and is unexciting. Director Jim Isaac(“Jason X”/”The Horror Show”) keeps things tepid. Writers Todd Harthan, James Demonaco and James Roday have nothing relevant to say about either werewolves, lycanthropes or humans.

For a number of years the widowed single-parent Rachel (Rhona Mitra) resides in the close-knit small village of Huguenot, home of her dead hubby’s kind relatives, with her ailing almost 13- year-old son Tim (Matthew Knight). He’s the half-breed lycanthrope, son of a werewolf, something his protective mother was unaware of until faced with a biker gang in the village trying to kill her son. Timothy is thought of by the good-guy werewolf community leader, Jonas (Elias Koteas), as their savior, someone destined at age 13 to fulfill an ancient Indian prophecy by curing lycanthropy from his werewolf family. The good-guy werewolves (we know are good because when dusk comes they strap themselves up), are committed to protect Tim to ensure their chance of being fully human. His attackers, on the other hand, only want him dead so they can continue to enjoy being werewolves.

The rival faction of chopper-riding werewolves, the bad guys, led by the scruffy Varek (Jason Behr), hope to kill Tim so he does not stop the curse. Meanwhile Jonas and the good-guy werewolves are ready to give their lives for their would-be savior, as he’s attacked in set-action pieces in town and at a hospital.

It’s a bad drive-in movie that emanates from the 1970s.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”