Directed by: Sean Ellis
Written by: Sean Ellis
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran
Year: 2021
Country: USA, UK, Romanian
Running time: 111mins
BBFC Classification: 18

Late 19th Century and tough patriarch Seamus Laurent (Petrie) orders the removal of an encampment of Roma gypsies from his land. Rather than simply remove them, his men take glee in slaughtering the travellers in barbaric fashion which in turn leads to a curse put upon Laurent, his family, and the surrounding settlement. Said curse manifests itself as a dangerous and bloodthirsty beast that targets the locals and specifically Laurent’s family, turning those he it attacks into similar hideous monsters. The only hope to save the surrounding settlement is the arrival of John McBride (Holbrook) who appears to know more about the nature of the attacks than he at first lets on.

Superior shocker that glides effortlessly from period drama to brutal horror, Sean Ellis proves equally at home in the horror genre after critical hits Metro Manila and Anthropoid, delivering a big bad werewolf flick. However, this is no trashy gore fest (nothing wrong with those though!) but a subtle period piece, character drama and when it lets loose a taught monster movie. It traverses the styles well and builds character and tension with aplomb meaning there is a lot more to chew on than just the gory monster attacks. The beast (or rather beasts!) are hidden for a while but Ellis wisely pays off events with some startling scenes of violence and horror delivering as much effective gore as he does astute drama. Shot in the Cognac region of France, the setting and landscape plays as much a character as any of the humans or wolves, creating an eerie atmosphere that sees a community completely under siege from an almost alien like presence.

The cast are stellar, completely committed to the drama and the horror aspects, the film working as much as a period piece as it does a horror film. Ellis wisely engages with drama and good character dynamics but never shies away from the horror elements to deliver some incredibly startling and violent scenes that even had this hardened horror fan slack jawed on occasion. From the gripping opening scenes set during The Somme to an incredibly violent crucifixion scene, to a mind boggling creature autopsy scene that rivals the “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” scene from The Thing, Eight for Silver delivers the shocks.

Hyperbole for sure and the flick isn’t without faults as it’s maybe a little too po-faced, a few of the drama scenes come off as stilted, and the budget unfortunately shows on occasion. Yet for the most part this is a superior suspenseful shocker. Ignore the misleading artwork and the fact that in some territories it has been retiled as the more generic The Cursed, Eight for Silver is excellent and much more than just another werewolf flick.

Mediumrare Entertainment will release Eight for Silver on DVD and Blu-ray on 30th January 2023.

Special features include:

  • Making of Featurette: brief on location feature that has the leads singing the praise of the production and its writer/director Sean Ellis (who we unfortunately don’t hear from!). A basic fluff piece (and over all too quick!) but does feature some cool behind the scenes footage of how they created the wolf attacks.
  • Trailer: suitably atmospheric preview that sells the film well.
Eight for Silver
Andrew Skeates reviews this superior werewolf shocker.
4.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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"To tell you the truth I don't think this is a brains kind of operation." Way of the Gun (2000)

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