DVD/Bluray Review: ALMOST HUMAN

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IFC Midnight is set to release the Joe Begos-directed ALMOST HUMAN to DVD/Bluray on June 17th, and like the film, the disc itself is packed with enough material to keep sci-fi/horror fans pleased for quite some time.


THE MOVIE:

Set in the ’80s, ALMOST HUMAN starts off strong, and refuses to let up, with the opening hitting hard and keeping its frantic pace throughout the whole film. Following Seth (Graham Skipper) a somewhat high-strung individual (with reason) who after witnessing the disappearance of the his two best friends years earlier, begins to have feelings that something strange is coming up and back. When Mark (Josh Ethier), one of the missing friends reappears, naked and covered in slime, it doesn’t take long before it’s abundantly clear that someone (or something) has taken over Mark’s body, following the mysterious disappearance. Doing his best to convince everyone that he’s not crazy, Seth attempts to keep Mark’s ex-girlfriend safe, all while trying to figure out what has taken Mark over and why he’s suddenly slaughtering folks left and right.

While that’s a very general synopsis of what the basic story is, ALMOST HUMAN feels like a hybrid of THE THING and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, giving that late ’70s/early ’80s vibe, and also feeling like a film that Carpenter would have made early in his career. It’s an entertaining ride that pays homage to the sci-fi/horror hybrid films of the ’80s, without ever feeling like it’s ripping them off. Utilizing some pretty impressive practical special effects, and some very interesting story-telling, the film is the kind of genre movie that is deserving of its festival praise, as it continually keeps its viewer curious as to what will happen next, and who will end up getting “taken over” by the end of the film.

While the practical effects and some solid direction from Begos are enough to watch ALMOST HUMAN, the performances by both Skipper and Ethier as Seth and Mark really help push the film even more, making it a thoroughly enjoyable genre film. Skipper is able to carry the lead role in the film with an intense performance, one that relies heavily on his facial expressions, which help push the film’s dramatic elements and make the film believable, even with a sci-fi/horror approach. With acting, practical effects that are top notch, and some very interesting and engaging horror-filled scenes, it’s a film that shows that even without tons of money, that a director and team with a concise vision can make one of the year’s best genre films.

A great effort for a first feature, ALMOST HUMAN shows how much of a future that director Joe Begos has,  a career that is definitely one to keep track of.

 


SPECIAL FEATURES:

  •  Feature-Length MAKING OF – An all encompassing doc about how the film came to be, and the experiences of shooting it.
  • Behind the Scenes: A short reel of well,..behind the scene footage.
  • On set with Graham Skipper: a short compilation of moments with Skipper on set.
  • Short film: TOXIN – One hell of a short film, one that you can tell might have played a small part in the genesis of ALMOST HUMAN.
  • Trailers, Alternate Trailers, Vintage TV Spot
  • Photo Gallery
  • 2 Commentaries (one with Begos and Ethier and another with Begos, Ethier, Graham Skipper and Assoc. Producer Cory Lockman

After viewing the special features, the disc is worth the price just for THEM, let alone the film. Good making of’s for a film are always fun to watch, and the one for ALMOST HUMAN is one of the good ones.


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