Slither James Gunn

As of late, Hollywood-made horror films feel as though they must meet one of three criteria to earn a green light: a zombie threat, an older/foreign horror film remade or featuring hot teenage stars who can somehow get enough people to come out for 90 minutes (i.e., Stay Alive). Thankfully, director James Gunn somehow convinced executives to invest $15 million in the aptly titled Slither.

The title makes it sound like yet another Anaconda sequel and the creepy crawlies make it look like its going to be a Slugs remake, but Slither is neither. Instead, Gunn has gone and made a horror flick filled with intersecting genres (comedy, sci-fi, and yes, there are a few zombies) that actually coalesce strongly.

When a small town in the Southern U.S. gets hit with a meteor, a "slug-ish" hostile parasite is unleashed that zombifies the town mayor (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer's Michael Rooker) and begins to literally absorb the community's humans. When the chief of police (Nathan Fillion of Firefly/Serenity) gets to the bottom of it, he and the remaining few are forced to fight their way through the mess and salvage what's left of the town.

Though the premise might sound derivative, Gunn has made a likable and comical horror film that evokes the spirit of '80s horror b-movies like Night of the Creeps (which Slither uses as an "obvious" influence). The choice of Fillion as the lead only cements his star potential, utilising his familiar penchant for adding timely jokes to dire situations, and if you don't blink too often you'll catch cameos by Rob Zombie and Troma's Lloyd Kaufman that show Gunn is in good company.

Filled with plenty of laughs, projectile acidic vomit and flesh eating gore, Slither is certain to satisfy jonesing horror fanatics. (TVA)