IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472465/
Starring: Jenny Dare Paulin (as Virginia Dare), Don Keith Opper, Norbert Weisser
Review: Sheriff’s deputy goes out into a remote parkland in a remote California valley to investigate a possible missing persons report, ends up getting body snatched, and turns evil. One of his intended victims steals his car and spends the rest of the film on the radio with a deputy while she drives the car through the park, unable to find her way out for some completely unknowable reason.
I honestly thought that this was a television series called “Invasion,” also from 2005, with a similar alien body snatcher premise. The blurb on Netflix was similar enough that I was snookered – it was not the same thing. I was sadly disappointed.
The movie tries. It really does. But it lacks a lot of things. A sense of scale, for one. Our hapless heroine spends the entire film driving aimlessly through a county park that apparently she has been to a lot, but now she can’t find her way out of? Okay, it’s dark and all, and she’s scared, but she sticks to the road and doesn’t ever seem to stop going in circles. At one point, the road is blocked by a tow truck, but she’s in a police cruiser and the Snatched are actually kind of slow. So why not go around them?
Something else it lacks is consistency. I give them credit for trying to make the Snatched kind of creepy. They make all the regular strange guttural alien noises you’d expect, but then they start talking backwards – I mean, clearly, they were recorded talking and then played backwards – and even when people on the other end of radios hear this, they just pass it off as interference. No one notices that the Snatched are speaking funny. It just… Ugh. It tries. It tries SO HARD.
As with all “found footage” films, this one has a huge amount of tells that show it’s not at all what it claims to be. Thankfully, at the end, the filmmakers thank the other films of this type that have inspired them, but there are a lot of things in the movie that just pull you out. The rising crescendo’s of incidental music, for one. The fact that the CDC supposedly nukes the area, yet the film is intact. The ghosts in the road that the heroine believes are spectres of her own death, yet show up on the camera footage plain as day.
But really the big one for me is the supposed nuke. Tactical nukes exist. They happen. What doesn’t happen is dashcam footage surviving the blast.
It tried SO HARD.
Where I found it: Netflix
How much I paid for it: 81 minutes. Honestly, the film is only about 65 minutes long. The remaining 16 minutes are all end credits. I’m not even kidding. How do you do a sixteen minute credit scroll for a 65 minute film? HOW? WHO DOES THIS?
Points of interest: The saving grace of this film is its execution. It was apparently done in one take. Italics for emphasis: one take. To quote Agent K: That’s tough. That’s double tough.
The Money Shot: Spoiler – just when you think that our distressed damsel is coming back into frame having been Snatched, we discover she’s made it. Almost.