NOTE: Hollywood in Toto is celebrating Halloween this yr by honoring 31 horror movies you might have missed the primary time round…
The perfect actors do the not possible. They make us root for the dangerous guys.
Suppose James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) and Bryan Cranston (Walter White) as displays A. and B. These stars elevated complicated souls in ways in which made us care, at the same time as we watched the our bodies stack up round them.
An identical spirit invades the 2008 indie thriller “Splinter.”
A pair will get kidnapped by an escaped convict and his moll, and alongside the best way they run right into a mysterious creature at a fuel station. So why does the thug command our consideration and, at instances, even our respect?
Shea Whigham, that’s why.
The character actor offers the movie’s villain a jolt, at the same time as we hope the couple finds a technique to out-fox him. The convict is cagey sufficient to outlive nearly any state of affairs.
FAST FACT: Whigham acquired a serious profession break by snagging a part in 2000’s “Tigerland,” co-starring Michael Shannon. They’d re-team a decade later in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”
Director Toby Wilkins (“The Grudge 3”) crafts a slick, environment friendly thriller with modest F/X and loads of stress. Wilkins additionally oversaw the movie’s visible results, benefiting from the movie’s small funds.
It clocks in at below 90 minutes, provides a monster we haven’t seen earlier than and even suggests the damsel in misery (Jill Wagner) could also be falling out of affection along with her beau (Paolo Costanzo). May she see one thing in Whigham’s criminal that makes her rethink her present relationship?
Poisonous masculinity alert!
These sly components combine to make “Splinter” one of many higher unsung horror movies, and it’s a deal with for many who missed it throughout its microscopic theatrical run.
“Splinter” didn’t wow critics, but it surely impressed some stable reward from shops like The Wall Street Journal:
It’s quick, taut, properly shot, well-acted, astutely directed, particular the place it might need been generic, unique sufficient to be engrossing and spinoff sufficient to be amusing.
“Splinter” is accessible for hire on Google Play, YouTube, Prime Video and Apple TV+, according to JustWatch.com 10/1/2023.
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