Monday, May 18, 2009

Shades of the Thing

Alien Raiders 2008
Director: Ben Rock
Writers: Julia Fair and David Simkins
Starring Carlos Bernard, Matthew St. Patrick, Rockmund Dunbar, Courtney Ford and Jeffrey Licon
The Monster hiding within a human host, is a old Horror plot that has been mined well many times before in classics like Alien and John Carpenter's the Thing. It always seems to work well, cause it dives into the fears people have of what is unknown. This is done well in the latest version of the story Alien Raiders. It is a tense and claustrophobic film that moves at a frenetic pace and you never know who is safe at any given point in time. It definitely surprised me being a low budget film it used its limited resources rather effectively.
The plot basics are this, it is closing time at a local grocery store, when a group of what appears to be robber lay siege upon the store and start killing people but only after they have one member of their group lay their hands on the hostages heads, for what reason it is not known. Then after a cop is killed, they turn out all the lights and cut the phone lines and corral the hostages in the warehouse area. Soon the police are there and they bring in a hostage negotiator to try to work it out with the lead criminal (Bernard). As the story progresses it seems that Ritter (Bernard) is hunting aliens that infect a human and can only be found by cutting a finger of the host and putting it in ice to see if it reacts violently to it. As the evening progresses things get worse and they are besieged by what they think is the alien that started it all and Ritter teams up with the negotiator (St. Patrick) to kill the monster and hopefully end its reign of terror.
This was a great claustrophobic siege film that did not pull any punches. The direction was tight as hell, though some scenes I felt were way too dark, but still fun. The writing was good, you got a definite feel for all the characters and really felt the emotions of what they were going through. The acting especially by Bernard and St. Patrick was excellent, they really played well off of each other and you had a feeling they would have to up aside their problems to deal with the threat before the film was over. The film also had some great gore effects, which were pretty gruesome. This film really reminded me a lot of the Thing and in a good way. Definitely seek this one out if you like films like the Thing or the Hidden.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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