I’ll be honest with you here. The deciding factor on the movie I was watching today was what had the shortest run time since I wasn’t even able to get home until about 11. That being said, holy fuck, this ended up being a lot better than I thought it was going to be. The entire movie really hinges on the promise of something horrible about to happen. We are constantly faced with this possibility and the paranoia of the main character translates exceedingly well into the paranoia of the viewer.
The story follows Wyatt as he visits his old friend Christian but Wyatt is having some serious issues. He has started to suspect that people around him are being infected with something that is turning them evil. He is receiving late night phone calls from mysterious allies telling him to be prepared for the battle between the humans and the infected. Wyatt then needs to decide if he wants to try to share this with his friend or merely attempt to protect him from what’s coming. Not going to spoil anything here as this is getting a solid recommend from me and wouldn’t want to detract from it.
The tension in this movie is so well done. It is a super low budget film and so most of the horror has to come from the “less is more” approach to showing what is going on. The writer/director Perry Blackshear brilliantly uses the standard expectations of a horror movie to ratchet up the suspense. He knows when an audience member would be expecting a jump scare and then lingers in that space without offering the relief of either the jump or changing the scene. The use of sound in the movie is another very well done element. Every threat has its own particularly sound but most often it is the sound of buzzing like flies that slowly intensifies which marks when someone infected is nearby.
The cast is tiny with only 3 main characters and a couple side characters that get any time at all. All of them do a fantastic job of portraying their conflict. Wyatt seamlessly transitions between this paranoid conspiracy theorist when left alone to a regular guy when he is hanging out with his friend. Evan Dumouchel as Christian does a particularly good job of having this tense relationship with what clearly was a very close friend that is now deeply troubled. The chemistry and play back and forth between the two of them is so good that I would believe that they were friends in real life.
In all, I would highly suggest checking this movie out. It is a short run time, so even if you aren’t as impressed as I am, it won’t take up that much time. I’ll rate They Look Like People a solid 5 out of 5, which is rare for me.
Favorite thing in the movie: The beginning with flashbacks of Wyatt being in bed with his fiancé.
Least favorite thing: I almost would have liked to have had it end about a minute before it did.
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