Sunday, August 2, 2015

They Look Like People (2015) Fantasia 2015

Add THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE to the list of the growing list of home run horror films of 2014 and 2015. This small scale inde film manages to great untold amounts of tension with looks, words and shadows.

The plot of the film has Wyatt reconnecting with his friend Christian who lets him crash at his apartment. Wyatt is sure that Christian isn't one of the evil entities that have begun taking over the human race, hiding in human skin. As time goes on Wyatt gets phone calls warning him that the time of the war is coming and that soon he will have to rise up...unfortunately Christian has begun to act strange and Wyatt isn't sure if his friend has become one of them.

This low key horror film is a revelation. While recent low budget horror films like John Wildman's LADIES OF THE HOUSE or Ted Geoghagen's WE ARE STILL HERE pushed the envelope of horror forward by looking back at old films and going for simple effects, director Perry Blackshear has done them one better and has made a film with no effects, all the of the horror is in the mind, and we can't escape it.

The magic of Blackshear's work is that he makes us fall into Wyatt's head space. We fall so completely into  his way of thinking that even the sequences where he doesn't appear we're still seeing things through his glasses. Yes, we know that we are not really seeing what Wyatt is seeing but we've so hooked into his vibe that we willingly go along with everything he does.  The ability to get an audience to believe that strongly in one character's way of thinking is extremely rare. Usually there is something that trips things up, but that doesn't happen here- to the point that we're squirming in our seat as the film reaches it's final moments.

This is a film that sneaks up on you and then hits you over the head. Its a film that creates genuine horror. This is not the horror of  jumping when startled but the sort of tension and unease when you are frightened that something terrible and truly monstrous is about to happen. This isn't the horror of the movie monsters but the horror of real life, of people having terrible real things happen to them. This is the horror of  the mind and it will leave you uneasy for hours after you see the film.

This is a great movie. Its a step back to when movies scared you without gallons of blood. God bless Perry Blackshear and lets hope he's going to be making many more movies.

Playing tonight and tomorrow at Fantasia THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE is a must see for anyone who wants to see a great (horror) film. For tickets and more information go here.

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