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John’s Horror Corner: They Look Like People (2015), indie psychological horror pitting the voices against friendship.

June 2, 2017

MY CALL:  This abundantly indie psychological horror pits friendship against paranoia.  MORE MOVIES LIKE They Look Like PeopleLittle is similar, but for more psychological horror try The Voices (2014), Session 9 (2001), Last Shift (2015), Identity (2003), Gothika (2003), 1408 (2007), Mine Games (2012), The Babadook (2014), Hide and Seek (2005), American Psycho (2000), The Uninvited (2009), The Visit (2015) and Goodnight Mommy (2014).

Seeking confidence physically and professionally, Christian (Evan Dumouchel) is a nice guy with a crush on his likewise nice boss Mara (Margaret Ying Drake).  Somewhere between building up the guts to ask Mara out and meeting her for their first date, he crosses paths with his old, estranged friend Wyatt (MacLeod Andrews), who happens to need a place to crash.

Just one thing… Wyatt is secretly getting phone calls from a stranger with instructions to prepare for a great battle with the evil that infects the people around him.  He’s almost certain that he’s not crazy…almost certain.  But we are left to wonder if schizophrenia or some other mental illness isn’t causing these possible psychoses.

This little film is good at cultivating tension. Featuring some nice shots, this clearly indie film is in the hands of proficient but forgivably inexperienced filmmakers. The dialogue is a bit flat, but I appreciate the apparent effort behind the writing.

There’s much endearing humanity to be found here and, while this is obviously a “beginner” film, I feel that the style more than makes up for the flaws in execution and the rather coarse editing.  As for the aforementioned style, we find a refreshing mix of levity and suspense.

We have some highly effective creepiness and characters that matter.  In his first feature length film, writer and director Perry Blackshear does well enough to interest me in his future projects—although I won’t be recommending this movie to mainstream horror fans.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2017 11:00 pm

    Did you say that you wouldn’t recommend this to mainstream horror fans because it isn’t chock full of gore, jump scares and other conventions? This film sounds very much like the concept of Frailty. Who is evil and who isn’t? Very well written, John!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 3, 2017 8:40 am

      Yes, a dash of Frailty to be sure. More a warning to mainstreamers because the technical quality is far lower than even most microbudget films (perhaps this is more a nanobudget). The editing is pretty rough at times (maybe done by a first-timer leaving some noticeably abrupt “transitions”). This film serves better in showcasing an idea and yelling to the producing masses “imagine what I could do if I had a budget.”

      • June 3, 2017 12:42 pm

        A calling card that probably should have been a short & not a feature.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 4, 2017 11:03 am

      It felt a lot like that–like an 80 min short film.

Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix

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