THE CURSED aka EIGHT FOR SILVER (2021) Reviews and overview

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Eight for Silver is a 2021 British horror film about a man investigating a wild animal attack in a remote country village in the late 1800s. He discovers a much deeper and more sinister force that has the manor and its townspeople in its grip… In January 2022, it was announced that the movie has (unfortunately) been generically retitled The Cursed.

Written and directed by Sean Ellis (Anthropoid; Metro Manila; The Broken). Produced by Sean Ellis, Mickey Liddell, Alison Semenza, Nicole Stojkovich and Jacob Yakob.

The LD Entertainment production stars Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran and Aine Rose Daly.

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:
“Save Holbrook (whose McBride should immediately launch a monster-hunting franchise), none of the characters are memorable enough to sustain a slow-burn atmospheric thriller, and the slow burn nature of the scenario might well strain even the most patient horror fans. There’s also a poorly-calculated framing device that goes for Gothic intrigue but just ends up letting us know who’s probably going to be alive at the end.” Awards Watch

“The broader perspective means it’s hard to find rooting interest among a cast of characters we never really get to know, and the unhurried pacing can make the film sag in stretches. The opening prologue ultimately doesn’t contribute much, except a minor point to support the film’s generational trauma thesis. Still, it’s a well-crafted period piece with standout horror moments thanks to fresh mythology…” Bloody Disgusting

“Ellis crafts a gripping tale, drawing on biblical and mythical elements to create something that is new and familiar simultaneously. If the creature itself is, on the one hand, not what you probably expect from a werewolf, it still carries primal echoes of all those animals you were told about as children, lingering in forests and ready to eat you up.” Eye for Film

“Sadly, some CGI moments stand out as a bit distracting, and they come at fairly important moments, so they break the immersion a bit. Couple that with some un-needed jump scares, and it really takes you out of this fairly atmospheric experience. Eight for Silver shines best when it goes for shockingly strange moments or adds to the overall heavy emotions.” Flickering Myth

“Well-executed if not entirely original – with werewolves, what is? – Eight For Silver (the title taken from a children’s nursery song) is an assured, engaging chiller that takes an ambitious bite out of the wolfman legacy which should satisfy bloodlust audiences while also engaging dramatically.” Games Radar

“The constantly escalating tension almost reaches a boiling point but it never quite explodes when it should. The last half of the film keeps that simmering tension throughout and some of the final set pieces set at the manor were begging for the narrative to really pop off. Unfortunately, it never quite reaches the unrelenting tension of the first half of the film.” Gayly Dreadful

“Whether or not the curse has been vanquished isn’t even settled, but not because Ellis means for it to be ambiguous. He just seems to have forgotten. Eight for Silver offers a tantalizing vision for how to revive the werewolf movie, but it’s lacking once you get past the great atmosphere.” Goomba Stomp

“The director […] has a genuine dedication to the propulsive power of mood, but he often seems less attentive to the mechanics of horror, choosing even to show the climactic action with all the villagers in the boarded-up church in a frenzied blur. He ties the story elements together tidily enough, but despite the heady climate of fear, you’re left craving hairier thrills and more teeth.” The Hollywood Reporter

” …a terrific period production. Serving as his own cinematographer, Ellis makes everything look torch-lit, which instills the perfect vibe. Cursed might run a touch long and the wrap-arounds do not tie everything up the way they should, but in general, it slows burns in the right way.” J.B. Spins

“Weak characters and shoddy digital effects aside, Eight for Silver is a nihilistic love letter to gothic werewolf cinema that brings a terrifying new take to the genre. Normally its flaws would be a death curse, but there is so much creativity, abject terror and rich themes surrounding the sins of generations haunting the next, that Eight for Silver is a must-see film for any fan of werewolves…” Killer Horror Critic

Eight for Silver is bookended by a pair of sequences that take place some 35 years after the events involving Seamus and McBride, a framing device which adds little to the narrative while also telegraphing the film’s climax […] But when everything else works as well as it does here, it’s easy to forgive those choices — Ellis has constructed a moody, effective supernatural yarn full of gruesome imagery and genuine scares that should be well-received by genre aficionados.” The Lamplight Review

“There are a couple of sequences in here that feature some nauseatingly effective practical effects that are some of the best I have seen in recent horror films. I do have a few minor gripes, some that involve spoilers, but perhaps my biggest is that some of the CGI effects aren’t the greatest I’ve ever seen. However, I am going to be pretty forgiving on this front due to the fact that I loved how original the creature design in this film felt.” Movie Babble

“A huge part of what helps to set the tone and to keep the film engrossing as well is the talented cast, particularly Boyd Holbrook who’s quite charismatic and the underrated Kelly Reilly who gives an emotionally convincing, understated performance. At a running time of 1 hour and 53 minutes, which is just the right length, The Cursed manages to be genuinely scary, engrossing and captivating.” The NYC Movie Guru

“Ellis’ film is an effective little shocker that occasionally gets bogged down by silly creature designs and even cheaper looking CGI effects, but there’s an array of gory, practical effects worth praising too. Take away the jump scares, trim fifteen minutes and Eight for Silver would be an air-tight machine. Still, Holbrook proves convincing in his role with the tense and moody atmosphere paving way for solid thrills that really bite.” The Only Critic

“It’s an interesting idea taking the classic Universal monster and using it as a commentary on bigotry and class struggle, but Ellis could’ve put more emphasis on this thematic direction. As for the performances, they’re uniformly alright, but nobody, not even Holbrook who has the most to do, is given much to flesh out their characters […] but what Ellis gives us, a haunting, original werewolf movie with something new to say, is a bloody good treat in itself.” Punch Drunk Critics

” …though the occasional scene features CGI augmentation that was better left either fully practical or more thoroughly finished. Ellis instinctually understands that practical effects in horror are a must, adding a level of visceral verisimilitude still unmatched by anything computer-generated or added. More controversial, however, is Ellis’s decision to embrace a unique appearance for his creature…” Screen Anarchy

“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.” Screen Zealots

” …when there is violence, it’s brutal, but it’s sparingly used, making it more impactful when it happens. If you enjoy old school horror movies with a slow burn, and a sense of dread, to go with the monster movie thrills (and kudos on this one for a terrific monster design), I cannot recommend Eight for Silver enough.” Sonic Cinema

Eight for Silver had its world premiere at the Sundance festival in January 2021.

In the USA, LD Entertainment will release The Cursed theatrically on February 18th 2022.


The Cursedformerly Eight for Silver is now available to rent or buy on Digital via Amazon Prime in the USA. The film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on May 10, 2022 via Decal-Neon. The disc releases include a Behind-the-Scenes extra.

Cast and characters:
Boyd Holbrook … John McBride
Kelly Reilly … Isabelle Laurent
Alistair Petrie … Seamus Laurent
Roxane Duran … Anais
Nigel Betts … Alfred Moliere
Stuart Bowman … Saul
Simon Kunz … Mr Griffin
Amelia Crouch … Charlotte
Max Mackintosh … Edward
Tommy Rodger … Timmy
Áine Rose Daly … Anne-Marie
Millie Kiss … Amy
Tom Sweet … Joseph
Gary Oliver … Sir John
Richard Cunningham … The Vicar
Pascale Becouze … Gypsy Woman
Sean Mahon … John Adam
Mish Boyko … Calum
Paul Bandey … Doctor Marchall
Alun Raglan … Old Edward Laurent
Oisín Stack … Dr Bernard
Annabel Mullion … Older Charlotte Laurent
Jicey Carina … The Gypsy Blacksmith
Stuart Goodwin … Captain
Brigitte Masure … Nana Griffin
Anne-Hélène Orvelin … McBride’s Wife
Lilou Moreau … McBride’s Child
Rebecca Calder … Mrs Adam
Carl Laforêt … Beast

Filming locations:
Cognac, France

Technical details:
113 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

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