Monday, September 21, 2015

Aberration - 1997

I first became aware I'd previously seen Aberration about 4 minutes in.  These sort of things happen, especially it seems to me.  I mean, number one, I'm not going to go through Netflix and look up every movie I want to see to see if somehow I've already given it a rating, and number two, half the movies I've rated I don't fuckin remember shit about.  Creepy lizards in a cabin in the woods?  Wtf?

I must have previously seen this on Netflix.  I checked, and I have rated it there.  Hell, I could've also seen it there this time round, it's on watch instantly.  But yeah.  Whatever, the point is that I remembered having seen it before, I remembered that I had enjoyed it enough, and I decided to give it a second whirl.  And I'm still pretty glad I did.

Aberration is the type of under-the-radar kinda movie for which I started this blog.  Independent, not really high budget, but shot very well and competently handled, good acting and good effects, decent tension and atmosphere, shot on location, well paced, interesting plot that is at least semi "realistic", this movie pretty much has it all.  I'm going to have to justify it's eventual not-getting-5-stars, cause truth be told it is not a 5 star movie, but from how much I build this up in the review, you'll probably rightfully expect 5 stars.

Aberration starts with a girl on the run.  We don't know she's on the run in the first few minutes, but pretty soon she pulls out a big wad of cash and hides it under some floorboards in the cabin she's staying at, which is way up in the woods somewhere.  This movie was filmed in New Zealand, and the scenery is great.  We never see the broad scope of where they are, and that to me makes this setting feel isolated.  We see later there is a store not terribly far from the cabin, but it's one of those stores where only one woman works there, and everyone that comes in is a regular.

The woman, Amy, came to the cabin with her cat.  Pretty soon her cat is acting slightly off.  The cat food is disappearing when he's not at home, he is hissing at things, he feels uneasy at the home.  We see hints of something, but nothing is quite shown for a while.  Eventually though, evil shows it's little head - a buncha 12 inch or so long lizards with spines and sharp teeth.

The lizards in this movie are great.  They are shown just the right amount, usually are puppets, but made well and shot in a way to appear dangerous.  They are intelligent, and they are evolving.  When Amy later tells the local store owner something is eating her cat food, etc, local researched Marshall overhears this, and he knows something about it.  It turns out he knows of the lizard infestation, and he comes to her cabin to help eradicate them.  But it turns out their eggs are all over the place, and some of them are invulnerable to bullets, some of them can communicate with each other....they are in constant states of evolution.

The movie plays the lizards as the threat very well.  But it also handles the relationship between these two really well.  The dialogue is realistic, humorous, well written.  This movie keeps the danger tension and the sexual tension going for the majority of the flick.  Pamela Gidley as Amy is smart, sassy, attractive, and dangerous.  Simon Bossell as Marshall is the geeky guy who has a hard side to him, and wants to get with the hot femme fatale.  
I just realized in this photo it looks like he's checking out her breasts, which are quite nice.

Why am I not giving this movie 5 stars?  I am not asking you as a lead in to an explanation.  I'm asking myself right now.  I don't know.  I guess in the end this movie just feels too forgettable.  Like too much of the same thing we've seen before.  Because this movie has no following, it has no "reason" to be known.  I mean, it's not like I'd buy it on DVD or anything.  But shit, I wonder why, like honestly.  It's actually really good.  It has a great idea, a lot of things happen in this movie, and as a monster movie, it ranks right up there with anything.  But sadly, it has to remain at 4 stars....just cause, it's one of those reasons that's hard to explain.

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