Monday, February 1, 2010
RELEASE DATE: 2009
SCORE: 2 out of 4
Woo! The college stereotypes and the creepy family meet up for "mustach weekend" as one of the cozy co-ed states; AKA hanging out on an island infested with a human-developed parasite (McGuffin Island has NO relation to Plum Island of real-life Anthrax research fame nor Ilsa Minor of Jurassic Park fame, ok!)
This is another in a long string of recent horror flicks that have great intro sequences and then fall completely flat during the actual "movie." This movie featured a really awesome intro about the development, testing and then outbreak of these parasites and its like 4 minutes long maybe. That should have been the movie! Not the movie about dumb moody people in dumb moody situations.
The movie isn't all that bad, though. It is an intelligent enough little squick flick and a small cast is employed well for suspense building scenes of conspiratorial intrigue. The main problem is that it doesn't really compare in quality to the first 5 minutes of the film and when the prologue is the best part of the movie, much of the entire experience is something of a disappointment.
This movie has a lot of filler taken up by what I call "pointless talk." This is meaningless dialogue that neither develops characters, forwards the plot or provides meaningful exposition. In other words: its very annoying for significant lengths of time to be taken up by talk about relationships between the characters that we highly suspect some of will die at some point in the film. It is, essentially, pointless. And there is just tons and tons of it in Growth: Mustache Weekend. It is boring and completely unrewarding for the viewer in most any way unless they happen to be amused by the most asinine of flirty dumb conversations.
This is of course countered by a fairly professional and intentional use of body-terror (although there certainly wasn't enough vomiting), gradual suspense building, and an occasional glimpse into something that could truly be described as horror - which would be the "taped doctor's footage" and whatnot. These are the high points of the film as I found it. Christopher Shand's portrayal of a tweaked out parasite-junkie is much better than his attempt at "gadabout teenager," or whatever his character was supposed to be initially in the film. Also, Richard Riehle played an awesome poor-man's Wilford Brimley (who swears)!
It seems to be constantly meandering between halfway decent and just terrible. Most often it is acceptable, but it isn't really very scary or very interesting, so that's why it gets such a low score. I enjoyed the ending though.