Movie Review: INDIGENOUS
Take one part blatant rip-off of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and throw in a clumsy desire on the part of the director to film a music video, and that’s the first part of this movie, which details the fate of a group of friends who go trekking into the Panamanian rainforest after being warned by locals not to do so, in search of a waterfall. That jungle is home to the legendary Chupacabra. Not the hairless, coyote-like creatures that typically appear on the news, though; these Chupacabras are much more of the sort found in the original folklore: more humanoid, bat-like or reptilian, and not all that interested in draining livestock of blood. They want human blood, and the easiest way for them to get it is to just tear their victims to pieces and eat them.
There are a few real groaner moments; they use the old “faulty flashlight” gag at one point. None of the characters are likable at first; they’re either bland or you hate them. And again, the movie feels more like an extended music video. But then, at about the halfway point, it shifts gears. If I didn’t know better–and I guess I don’t, really–I’d think a new director took over at that point, because suddenly things start getting GOOD. The acting improves significantly. The music video feel is gone. Excepting the aforementioned flashlight faux pas, INDIGENOUS becomes a highly effective, competent Horror movie with solid performances. It wasn’t something I expected. Could that possibly have been what the creators were going for? They wanted to lull you into a sense of bored disinterest, making you think you were watching a generic cornpone flick, and then catch you off-guard by doing things right? I doubt it. But if that WAS their gambit, it paid off. I WAS surprised. But how do I properly rate a movie that half-sucked and half kicked ass? Does the second half of the film make up for the first part? For me, I’d say that it did. But I’m a sucker for a good Monster flick. And when they’re using practical effects and not CGI, and the creatures look a little bit like the Crawlers from THE DESCENT, yeah, I’m probably gonna dig it.