In the late 19th century, a brutal land baron slaughters a Roma clan, unleashing a curse on his family and village. In the days that follow, the townspeople are plagued by nightmares, the baron's son goes missing, and a boy is found murdered. The locals suspect a wild animal, but a visiting pathologist warns of a more sinister presence lurking in the woods.
Werewolf stories are the perfect match for period horror films, and the atmospheric, moody, and gory “Eight for Silver” feels like a game changer for the genre. Set in the 1800s, this historical-minded tale about a creature terrorizing a small village is well acted, visually stunning, beautifully directed, and is one of the most sophisticated monster movies I’ve seen in a long while. Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) is a callous land baron who is in a dispute with a group of Romani people who lay claim to one of his parcels. Unable and unwilling to reach a peaceful agreement, Seamus orders their execution, only to be met with the promise that a curse will be unleashed on his family. The man shrugs it off until the townspeople begin having the same terrifying nightmare. When boy is murdered by a suspected wild animal and his own son goes missing, Seamus calls on the services of a pathologist (Boyd Holbrook), who is certain there’s something much more evil in the woods. This gothic horror tale is stunning across the board. There’s plenty of bloody carnage that will appease traditional horror fans, as well as more subtle, sophisticated touches the utilize elements like wind, fog, shadows, and the use of candlelight to craft an eerie atmosphere. The film could do without the handful of cheap jump scares, but they don’t take away from the strength of the finished product.