The title invites confusion with John Woo’s Windtalkers, which also features First Nations people, albeit without the shapeshifting. But it’s closer in tone to Pathfinder, the recent film about a lone wolf (not a werewolf) fighting a Viking incursion on North American soil some 800 years ago. This one is set in the present day, and imagines a subset of natives who periodically turn into slavering beasts. Some of them are good werewolves, and dutifully strap themselves down each full moon so they don’t hurt anyone. Others—let’s call them misanthropic lycanthropes—have developed a taste for human blood and enjoy their monthly hunting.
Skinwalkers is based on Navajo legends. How does that set it apart from other werewolf movies?
A Werewolf War in Need of a Silver Bullet
Yawningly directed by Jim Isaac, “Skinwalkers” is a slavering mess that buries its clunky addiction metaphor beneath a welter of genre clichés, all delivered in extra-slow motion. Surpassingly ugly—every frame appears to have been marinated in ditch water, then dragged through a thicket—and with a soundtrack that suggests feeding time at the pound, the movie strains for terror and achieves only confusion.