ALMOST HUMAN (2013)
Story takes place in rural Maine and tells of ill-fated Mark (Josh Ethier), a man abducted into the sky one horrific night leaving his friend Seth (Graham Skipper) to carry the suspicion for his disappearance. Two years later Mark returns, but he’s not the same man he used to be and cuts a blood-soaked path back home to his girlfriend Jen (Vanessa Leigh), to give her the ‘family’ she’s always wanted.
Almost Human is a completely derivative, but still fun horror flick. It combines elements of Fire In The Sky, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and John Carpenter’s The Thing, but has a bloody good time with those elements as it tells it’s much smaller scaled story. There are drawbacks. The acting is a bit wooden all around, the pacing is slow at times and, fun as it may be, we’ve seen it all before. Director/writer Joe Begos does try hard and manages to do a good job building some suspense and keeping us interested. The FX team also provide some effective make-up and gore to punctuate this horror tale with a lot of spurting blood and goo. Not a great movie, but an entertaining enough chiller for a night on the couch. Extra kudos to actress Vanessa Leigh for being a real trooper in performing one of the more graphic and disturbing scenes late in the film. Watch after the credits, too.
Biggest failing of Brant Sersen’s found footage horror is that at no time does it ever feel like real footage that we are watching, or anything but actors in staged settings. Add to that, bad dialogue and some very amateur acting…and there is little to recommend. In a plot very reminiscent of Grave Encounters, we have a team of paranormal investigators from a fictional show called Ghost Trackers, investigating the infamous, abandoned Hillcrest Sanatorium where murder and death plagued the halls of it’s past. Obviously, their investigation leads to horrors beyond their imagination, though the film is never the least bit scary. We are never frightened, because it’s a series of weak and obvious set-ups acted out by amateur actors who never once appear to be anything but characters reading off a script. The whole point of found footage is to make us believe we are watching actual footage, events and people…something Sersen’s flick never achieves. At least there was good use made of the abandoned building setting and there was more bloodshed than usual in a flick like this. Otherwise, it’s a rather dull and forgettable attempt. At least the far more effective Grave Encounters, had the smarts to wink at it’s audience and have fun with it’s premise.