Skinwalkers is a contemporary and sexy werewolf movie that's rather light on the gore.
A Native American legend tells a story about humans named Skinwalkers who get supernatural powers once they feast on blood. The legend also says a 13 year-old boy will come someday when the moon is blood red and break the curse. Enter Timothy (Matthew Knight), a 13 year-old who lives in the town of Hugenot. His mother (Rhona Mitra) is concerned about her son's persistent nightmares and tells Uncle Jonas (Elias Koteas) she wants to leave town. Maybe it's because a pack of Skinwalkers, led by Varek (Jason Behr), have invaded the town. But Mom is in for a shock. It turns out Uncle Jonas, his daughter (Sarah Carter), her fiancé (Shawn Roberts), the mailman (Lyriq Bent) and even Nana (Barbara Gordon) all turn into werewolves once a month, and Timothy is the half-breed who may save them.
Behr (Roswell) is practically unrecognizable but does a nice job as the long-haired, well-built Skinwalker who sets out to kill the boy but soon discovers a secret that changes his mind. His sidekicks are both scary (Kim Coates) and sexy (Natassia Malthe), and they do well playing evil. Familiar character actor Koteas becomes the emotional soul of the film, even when he transforms into a werewolf. But it's young Knight (The Grudge 2) who has the biggest challenge, showing he can be scared, fearless, and smartall at the same time. Not easy to do, but the kid handles the chores with aplomb.
Skinwalkers is really a rather tame werewolf film not unlike the Lon Chaney versions back in the 1940s. It's hard to make a compelling werewolf movie these days because they focus just on the gore. The classic exception is John Landis' An American Werewolf in London, which combined blood and guts with comedy, but Skinwalkers actually comes close. It has action, a good story and decent special effects without relying on the usual violence. Skinwalkers' director James Isaac was responsible for one of the more creative Friday the 13ths, Jason X, and has a special effects background, which is evident in Skinwalkers' wolf transformations. The battles are nearly Matrix-esque and the scenes of the red moon and the morning sunrises are quite spectacular. The film may have suffered some bad buzz earlier on, but it's far better than most of the other werewolf offerings.
Hollywood.com rated this film 3 stars.