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King's Silver Bullet- a triumph of spirit

Stephen King's Silver Bullet, by Stephen King, directed by Daniel Attias. Starring Gary Busey, Everett McGill, Corey Haim and Megan Follows. Opening today at the Sack Pi-Alley.

Stephen King's latest horror drama, Stephen King's Silver Bullet, is now out and will soon creep into a theater near you. I urge everyone to attend this touching, meaningful movie, whether or not you aspire to being terrified.

This movie follows a theme which is present in much of King's fiction: that of a person or group of people who must overcome their weaknesses to battle a greater evil.

In most of King's movies and novels to date, the stress on horror overshadows the protagonists' personal victories. In Silver Bullet, however, the order is reversed.

King's emphasis is on the struggle of a crippled boy, his resentful sister, and their irresponsible uncle to overcome their personal imperfections and work together to combat a greater problem. True to King's style, this problem is an ancient, primitive terror: a werewolf.

Corey Haim, who plays the crippled Marty, gives his character a depth of feeling one might not expect to come from a 13-year-old actor. The chemistry between him and Megan Follows (his older sister Jane), seems genuine to the point that even when they argue, the bond between them remains strong.

Their alcoholic, womanizing Uncle Red (played by Gary Busey), proves to be a slightly more complicated character. He fluctuates between the loving uncle and a stubborn dolt who refuses to recognize the proof Marty and Jane reveal to him about the werewolf. The most disappointing character is Reverend Lowe (played by Everett McGill). The portrayal of the Reverend is flawless, but I think the story itself could have been enriched dramatically by a deeper insight into Lowe's thoughts and history.

Although this film is on a deeper level than some of King's previous exploits, it will in no way disappoint blood-and-guts horror fans. The violence has been relegated to a less prominent position in the screenplay, but the anticipation is worthwhile and the suspense, humorously frustrating.

King's townspeople are typically witless: they go in search of the mysterious killer at night, in a foggy swamp, during the full moon; where the werewolf is sure to be. They are rewarded for their stupidity by violent, painful deaths, which flow with blood and echo with screams.

All in all, Stephen King's Silver Bullet is a worthwhile motion picture for anyone to see. If you are an undying King fan, the special effects are a must-see; if you prefer a deep, meaningful story about human triumph, you will also be satisfied -- just cover your eyes whenever the music approaches a crescendo.

Betty J. McLaughlin->