Movie Review: Skinwalker

July 12, 2021

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Fans of western horror films and weird western tales should find writer/director Robert Conway’s Skinwalker to be an entertaining ride. There’s plenty of bloodshed at the hands of a supernatural creature and from the members of a rather sizable cast of characters, with enough of an engaging story to keep viewers’ hands wringing throughout.
After one in a pair of men steals a death totem from a Native American burial site, the titular entity emerges. Rather than being a shapeshifter as most legends describe it to be, this skinwalker is a demon that goes from host to host. Among those whose paths the diabolical spirit crosses are a lawman (Dan Higgins) and his deputy (Cameron Kotecki), who are bringing an outlaw’s wife (Eva Hamilton) to jail; the gang-leader husband of that woman (who, for some reason, goes uncredited in the film, though his performance is just fine) and his henchmen; a man (Daniel Link) and his three wives; and some Native Americans who are quite unhappy about the theft of the totem.
Conway’s script is full of suspense and intrigue, and serves up some surprises in the “Who’s the next victim?” department. He does a stirring job with both the western drama and horror elements, and is assisted nicely by a solid cast and some impressive practical effects and makeup work. A couple of CGI effects are rather obvious but don’t distract much from the proceedings.
Skinwalker is an appealing indie horror effort that punches above its weight. From bullets to bites to beheadings,  fear fare galore is on display in this old-west chiller.
Skinwalker, from Uncork’d Entertainment, will be available On DVD and Digital from July 13, 2021.

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