The Cursed is such a tacky and lame title for a werewolf movie so I understand the decision to change it to Eight for Silver. And right off the bat, I have to say that I think this isn’t a werewolf movie. It sure feels like one, but there are also some significant differences when it comes to the lore. So, it’s best to treat it as your classic creature feature set in 19th-century France. Although even the setting feels more British than French.
After a furious start, things settle as we focus on a lofty mansion in a small town. A town that’s soon going to shiver in fear because of the monster hiding in the nearby woods. And while the story is very formulaic and stereotypical, there are some pretty original ideas in The Cursed. Sorry, in Eight for Silver. However, those ideas will show up only in the final third of the movie. Until then, we’re left with the usual process of murder, supposed mystery and anticipation of the final showdown.
One of my favorite movies of all time is the one Sean Ellis directed and wrote before this one, Anthropoid. An emotional, gut-wrenchingly brutal true story of bravery, horrors of war and many other things. So, I was surprised to see that The Cursed is so sluggish and messy. The editing and especially transitions between scenes are simply bad.
These hard cuts fucked up a pretty ominous atmosphere along with the storytelling. However, since the opening scene was so brutal, you knew that things will get better. And they do. Ellis struggles with character development but he’s a master at creating a sense of danger and directing action sequences.
Seamus Laurent, a wealthy aristocrat living in a small town in France, slaughters a band of Gypsies laying claim to his land. It did not matter that they were right, as Seamus hired a band of mercenaries to kill them all. With her dying breath, one of the elders curses him and his entire family. Not aware of the curse, Seamus goes on with his life. However, after his only son disappears, he will know that things are not right.
Battle of the Somme, gypsies, wealthy landowners, and ruthless mercenaries, this sure sounds like Peaky Blinders. As you probably know, I really hate these wealthy aristocrats who treat their servants like shit and take what they want. Good, let the creature eat the lot of them. Moving on, the setting and overall vibe of Eight for Silver is very reminiscent of The Wolfman from 2010 starring Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. So, if you’re looking for a “real” werewolf experience, do check it out.
This is more of an atmospheric and moody horror with impeccable visuals. They took full advantage of the foreboding and mysterious wooded area surrounding the village. An area that feels like there’s something nasty there, hiding and waiting an opportune moment to strike. And if you’re looking for a similar movie, The VVitch is a logical choice.
Now, I should also mention that this is a quite gory and visceral movie. There will be several scenes of graphic violence and some pretty gnarly creature footage. Speaking of which, I really like the design they chose. It feels unnatural and looks positively terrifying thanks to excellent CGI. In the end, Eight for Silver is a pretty solid horror movie and I do recommend you check it out.
Director: Sean Ellis
Writer: Sean Ellis
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Amelia Crouch, Max Mackintosh, Tommy Rodger
Fun Facts: While the movie premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on January 30, 2021, it was released for streaming more than a year later.