"Silent Predators" is a perfectly fine, if slightly clichéd entry.
Arriving in San Catalano, California, Vic Rondelli, (Harry Hamlin) takes over the new fire chief and is immediately put off by Max Farrington, (Jack Scalia) owner of a nearby housing development. When a strange death shakes the community, he tries to investigate the incident only to be stone-walled out. Managing to get employee Mandy Stratford, (Shannon Sturges) onto his side by managing to capture a specimen, which Dr. Matthew Watkins, (Phillip Troy Linger) finds it to be a mixture between two different kinds of poisonous snakes. Using that to try to stop construction for fear of disturbing the snakes, it fails and results in more deaths around town, forcing them into a plan of action that will deal with the deadly snakes once and for all.
The Good News: This one wasn't that bad at times. One of the better things about it is the fact that there's a lot of great encounters with the creatures. There's a pretty nice amount of snake attacks that occur through this one, and most of them are pretty good. The attack in the home on the exercise machine is really good, being nicely creepy with a wonderfully funny and ironic conclusion, and the baseball game attack is pretty good for the chaos it unleashes. There's also the non-lethal attack on the home where the snake prowls along after it's victims, only to be snuck up on itself and killed, which is really tense since it's mostly shot through the snake's POV and it comes off really nice. There's also the film's best stalking scene, where the couple off in the woods are trying to capture a specimen, as the wood-land setting gives off a creepy presence and there's some tense moments trying to get the creatures caught. It's at it's best, though, when it features the escape attempt, as the forest comes alive with the rattling of the snakes resulting in a thrilling chase to get out alive, coming complete with a strike against them as well. The ending is also really good, as there's some fine combinations of action, tension and suspense with the race to get out before the slowly-approaching snakes for a fun sequence. The last positive is the use of real snakes in here as it really easily could've been a bunch of CGI, though the fact that the snakes being of completely different species something to determine on their own. These here are the film's good parts.
The Bad News: There wasn't much wrong with this one. The main flaw here is the fact that this one's PG-13 rating. This one is really hampered by that, as there's some things that just can't be done in a creature feature with that rating. It can't feature any kind of violence at all, which this one is really devoid of as it restricts it's kills mainly to a lung from the offending snake onto a body part and then using the venom to kill, with the creature not even in the same shot. Oftentimes, this results in sequences where there's no obvious contact at all. There's a plethora of scenes like that, not offering much in the form of these kinds of scenes that are based around what can happen in the PG-13 rating. This one also manages to be it's most flawed when it comes to how clichéd it is. This is a film that consists of scene after scene that you've seen in at least twenty other movies. Among the scenes repeated are a deadly snake being transported in a wooden crate on the back of a flat-bed truck, where the truck crashes and rolls, smashing the crate and releasing the deadly snake, the businessman who has invested all his money in a housing development learns that his project may be infested by giant killer snakes and tries to hush the situation up so as not to put his investment at risk, and the plot-point where, after learning the mayor of the town is in cahoots with the businessman, refusing to take action about the snakes so as not to threaten the financial development of the town, the mayor's young son is the next person whose life is threatened. That's merely the tip of the iceberg in here, as it takes a special kind of film that cares enough about the traditions of creature feature genre to make a movie this clichéd. These here are the film's flaws.
The Final Verdict: Not exactly anything that's too harmful, unless the clichés bother you, which isn't a big deal but does harm it somewhat. Recommended to those looking for such a creature feature, another entry for a killer-snake marathon or those who find it interesting, while those who don't should heed caution.
Rated PG-13: Violence and Language
Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller
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1 hr 30 min