Wednesday, May 25, 2016

They Look Like People - Well Done Buddy-Cohorrormedy

They Look Like People (2015) - Blackshear
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Don't let the Williamsburg hipster setting scare you. Perry Blackshear's economically executed buddy-cohorrormedy is an exemplary minimalist filmmaking at its best. The director knows exactly what he's got - no money, a great character driven, self contained script, fantastic actors. The film doesn't try to be anything other than a little paranoia thriller and it works superbly.

The film sets up its eerie mood in the beginning with Wyatt (MacLeod Andrews), looking at his fiancee in bed at night. We can't see her face because the shadows and how her face is positioned. This prolonged shot is extremely unsettling. Wyatt gets phone calls telling him that the world is going to be taken over by monsters, that he needs to prepare, that he can't trust his friends or family because they may be infected. He sets out to the city to meet his childhood best friend Christian (Evan Dumouchel), an office worker in an advertising agency whose overtly outward personality and fit physique hides his former nerdy loser self. Christian insists Wyatt staying on until whenever. Wyatt, still schizo, still getting phone calls in the middle of the night, starts to prepare for the worst in Christian's basement with knives, axes, duct tapes, ropes, sulfuric acid...

Everything seems normal for a while - Christian has sort of a date with Mara (Magaret Ying Drake), a cute co-worker at the office whose attraction he's buffing off at the moment because of his too self-confident personality he put on for himself. This date turns out to be spending all night in an emergency room because a friend of Mara (who was supposed to be Wyatt's date) slipped on ice and has a mild concussion.

So how does these two storylines - a schizo trying to prepare the end of the world and a former loser trying to overcompensate go together? Marvelously. With natural dialog and performances, They Look Like People slowly builds up its tension into a thrilling conclusion. And it even somehow ends up very touching. They Look Like People is now available on Netflix. Please check it out.

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