25 August 2015

POD (2015)


USA, 2015
Director: Mickey Keating


The recent trend of low/lowest-budget sci-fi/horror movies ("The Device", "Alien Abduction", "The Encounter") is both interesting and disappointing at the same time. Interesting because it seems as if these movies were all made by people who grew up on watching "X-Files" and shit (like me!) - disappointing because none of these indie features about alien invaders, body snatchers etc. are particularly satisfying, groundbreaking or innovative. In most cases, they're simply mediocre low-budget variations of mediocre "X-files" episodes.

Same goes for "Pod", the third feature by indie director Mickey Keating ("Ritual"), following two estranged siblings who visit their paranoid war veteran brother who seems to be a little too obsessed with wild conspiracy theories about government experiments, implanted tracking devices and some strange pod he found
in the woods.

What starts out a bit in the vein of William Friedkin's "Bug", quickly becomes a weird mix of "The Evil Dead" and "Signs" with elements of "Dreamcatcher", "Honeymoon", the above-mentioned "The Device" and the criminally underrated "Altered" thrown in. There's some neat tension and eerie atmosphere in the first half, as well as some good creature effects and at least one unexpected plot twist that I totally didn't see coming, but... well, the whole intense build-up leads to fucking nowhere, and as soon as you realize that "Pod" doesn't offer anything special or remarkable, and simply ends in an ultra-predictable and kinda lame-assy way, I was frustrated to the max. The second half is so weak and lackluster, the movie should have been titled "Much Ado About Nothing" instead...

The acting is decent, most notably the wild and damn impressive performance by Brian Morvant, but none of the characters are really likable (especially Lauren Ashley Carter's horribly annoying character). Horror legend Larry Fessenden is neat as always, but completely wasted. The editing is great, the moody lighting is neat and I loved the insane hyper-speed opening credits, but that all can't save the movie from being quite a letdown. "Pod" is a dud.

Thanks to Alex Klenert (Prodigy PR) for the screener!


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