Eight for Silver, written and directed by Sean Ellis, makes its debut at Sundance Film Festival this evening., and genre fans are already clamoring to see this werewolf story with a twist.
From the film’s official synopsis:
In the late 1800s, a man arrives in a remote country village to investigate an attack by a wild animal but discovers a much deeper and sinister force that has the manor and its townspeople in its grip.
In advance of the film’s premiere, Ellis spoke with iHorror about how this particular story developed and the process of bringing his peculiar vision to life.
“It started with LD [Entertainment] approaching me after seeing Anthropoid saying, ‘We’d love to make a horror movie with you,. Would that interest you?'” he said. “”And I said, ‘Well, yeah.’ And they asked if I had any ideas. I started to speak about something that I had kind of been working on which was a sort of remote village set in the countryside in the late 1800s plagued by a wolf.”
Once he began working on the story in earnest, the wolf became a werewolf and Eight for Silver was on track to becoming a fully-fledged horror film.
Still, there were things Ellis did not want when it came to his film. He did not want the run-of-the-mill hairy monster running around on two legs and howling at the moon. He did not want to bring the same iteration of this particular creature that we have seen time and again.
“It was sort of one of those things that came to fruition by saying the things I don’t want first,” Ellis explained, “and then figuring out what I did want. Once that part of the narrative became clear it became very exciting at that point.”
That excitement translates to sheer terror when we learn just what form Ellis’s creature takes. Luckily for him, he had an equally strong human cast to face the beast and their fate.
Eight for Silver stars Alistair Petrie (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Kelly Reilly (Yellowstone), Boyd Holbrook (The Predator), and Amelia Crouch (Extinction). It was one of those rare instances where a director is able to bring together his dream cast for a film with ease.
“Boyd actually came to me first,” the director pointed out. “His agent said he’d read the script and wanted to chat with me. I chatted with him and after speaking to him, we were like, let’s not look for anyone else. Alistair was next and I’d seen him in Star Wars and the TV show Sex Education. I’ve been a huge fan of Kelly’s for many, many years. I first saw her on stage and thought she was fantastic. She liked the script. She liked the character. She jumped in with both feet and gave a hell of a performance.”
The actors give believably raw performances in the film, building the story between the scares and drawing viewers into the film’s world with ease. Some of them, we care about deeply while others truly keep us rooting for their demise. Either way, that drama carries the film forward.
“The story has to work if you take the beast out, ultimately,” Ellis said. “Otherwise, all you’ve got is a bunch of people running around screaming. It was always about having complex situations about real life emotions: guilt and fear and jealousy and anger and loss. I think that creating the subplots for the characters to be rich and complex was fun. There is a real story here.”
Eight for Silver is set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival at 7 pm, Mountain Time this evening, and it will no doubt have audiences covering their eyes on the edge of their seats.
iHorror will keep you posted on all the latest Sundance news including reviews and interviews as they become available.
Featured image courtesy of LD Entertainment