When a meteor falls from space and lands in the vast woodlands outside the sleepy US town of Wheelsy, the locals' hitherto sleepy existence is only days away from being shattered. An ancient entity is contained in the rock and when local businessman Grant Grant (Rooker) stumbles into the forest for a spot of extra-marital activity, things get a touch freakier than he anticipates.

Once inside its first host, the being then tries to infect the rest of the town, with the rest of the world next on the hitlist. Ultimately, it is up to local police chief Bill Pardy (Fillion) and his posse to try and prevent the creature achieving its goal.

This film has rightly been compared to British zom-rom-com 'Shaun of the Dead'. Writer-director James Gunn has succeeded in mixing horror and comedy in a way that doesn't short-change fans of the former, while all the time ensuring the rest of us aren't too grossed out and/or scared witless.

Horror aficionados will love picking out the references to other classics of the genre, allowing everyone else the chance to kick back and indulge ourselves in 95 minutes of ridiculous fun. The fact that no big-name stars were recruited only serves to heighten the pleasure, as the actors who were hired do a great job.

Perhaps the only fault is that 'Slither' can drag a little at times. It is a minor complaint though, and you will find it hard not to take the characters to your heart. Most of the best lines are saved for foul-mouthed mayor Jack MacReady (Henry). If you had to elect a self-serving politician (imagine that?), you'd have to choose this guy. His quotes are so good that they had to be left out of the mundane trailer for the movie, which does absolutely no justice to the quality fare on offer.

Séamus Leonard