Tuesday, February 23, 2016
FREAKS OF NATURE (2015)
Directed By: Robbie Pickerling
Written By: Oren Uziel
Cinematography By: Uta Briesewitz
Cast: Nicholas Braun, Josh Fadem, Vanessa Hudgens, Mackenzie Davis, Chris Zylka, Ed Westwick, Keegan-Michael Key, Mae Whitman, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Denis Leary, Ian Roberts, Rachael Harris, Patton Oswalt, Pat Healy, Cerina Vincent
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
In Freaks of Nature, we welcome you to Dillford, where three days ago, everything was peaceful and business as usual: the vampires were at the top of the social order, the zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were getting along in the middle. But this delicate balance was ripped apart when the alien apocalypse arrived in Dillford and put an end to all the harmony. Now it's humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out, blood-sucking, brain-eating, vamp-staking mortal combat - and all of them are on the run from the aliens. It is up to three teenagers - one human, one vampire, and one zombie - to team up, figure out how to get rid of the interplanetary visitors, and try to restore order to this "normal" little town
I have highly anticipated this film ever since hearing about this script when it used to be called THE KITCHEN SINK. It was on the BLACKLIST. A list compiled of the years best screenplays Voted on by studio readers and people in the entertainment industry. Actor Jonah Hill even considered making it his directing debut. So if it was that much of a strong script i really wanted to see it. All these years later it was finally made under this title. Which makes it more sellable to an audience as well as quizzical as to what the film is about. As under the original title it seemed to be there as everything is thrown in here that you can think of for a horror comedy.
I have to say the results of the film, now that it has finally been made isn't great, but it's good enough.
The opening sequence at first doesn't seem that special, until we are given context and brought back into it. Where we get to see the sequence form different characters points of view and it is a stunt and visual spectacular. That is truly impressive. One of the most impressive things in this film.
The film is entertains and funny in parts. It's not as sharp as it could be. Never approaching being a satire, but does feel more like a send up. That manages to at least try to flesh out the main characters. Even if it leaves them stuck in situations and emotional centers for the characters that are familiar from other teen films. Think of it as a BREAKFAST CLUB for the horror genre.
It feels like a great lost movie from the 80's. As the sensibilites of the film and it's characters seem to be steeped in that time. Which makes it a fun popcorn movie that offers no risks or challenges. Just plain old entertainment.
The film has a great supporting cast of comedic character actors. Though they are nice dressing they are only around for a few scenes to work their magic. So if intending to watch the film for them. You might be disappointed as they are fun, but not around much.
The world of the movie works where zombies, and vampires. All are living amongst us. It is all Seen as normal.
The film is fun and not as much the trainwreck one would fear. As the previews don't make it look like anything but crowded and it never made it to theaters. Even though the films special effects are impressive. That seems to be where the majority of the film's budget seems to have gone. As in the beginning half the film paints a vivid crowded picture. Then in the second half becomes smaller scaled and a little more remote.
The film is definitely hard R and will remind the audience of more the films that were horror and a bit exploitive but definitely made for a to get generation. As it is bleak but has an almost energetic party vibe throughout. So that even in dramatic moments it feels alive and doesn't quite let you emote or feel down. --If anyone in the cast stands out. It is Mackenzie Davis as Petra the vampire. As she has the major dramatic story-line and ends up being the most like able character. She also seems the most level headed.
Vanessa Hudgens makes her mark here as the stoner, sexpot and in her scenes makes for some nice eye candy and some Laughs. I only wish she got better roles like in GIMME SHELTER to show off some range and not always just be a pretty face.
This film is a nice time waster and as much as things in the film Might seem familiar. Sometimes the film does actually make it's own original strides. Even if really there is no depth to be found. The zombie Dad and mom that are eating the brains are Brian Peck and Beverly Randolph who are famous for being in "The Return of the Living Dead" in the roles of Scuz and Tina.
As I appreciate the film seems to acknowledge that teenagers don't make the best choices and have a problem with impulse control. Which is also a problem with the creatures they are or become. And even though the heroes succeed eventually. It also shows that teenagers might not be the know it all's nor the smartest who are always right. Then again neither are the adults. They all make mistakes. That is appreciated in a film. As it does allow for more story. It also makes the characters callable and thus a bit more human. Even if the last act seems a bit inspired By AT THE WORLD'S END
This would make a good double feature with SCOUT'S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. Though whole that one was pushed more by the studio. In the end this film is more enjoyable.