Director: John Murlowski
Runtime: 1hr 33m
Cast: Katherine McNamara, Joel Courtney, Calum Worthy, Andi Matichak, Cam Gigandet, Mason McNulty, Ayme Gousette, Terry Dale Parks
Synopsis: A thrilling slice of science fiction. Three friends discover that their neighbours are being replaced with perfect clones and they only have one hope…warn the world before they too fall victim to strange creatures that are taking over their town.
Director and co-writer John Murlowski [Black Cadillac (2003), Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish (1998)] brings an interesting addition to the ‘body snatchers’ genre with this teen horror, sci fi thriller, Assimilate.
Hannah (Katherine McNamara) leaves a voicemail for her mother regarding a worrying bite on her arm. A short time later, a screaming doppelganger of Hannah attacks the teen in her home.
Best friends Zach Henderson (Joel Courtney) and Randy Foster (Calum Worthy) find their hometown dull and have ambitions to be social media stars. They record a video tour of Multon, Missouri. While being interviewed, neighbour Mrs. Bissette (Ayme Gousette) points out thousands of unidentified insects crawling on vegetation.
Zach and Randy also record Zach’s crush Kayla Shepard (Andi Matichak) playing soccer at their high school. Kayla introduces her parents and little brother, Joey (Mason McNulty)
Zach and Randy go for a walk after dinner, until screaming draws the two boys back to Mrs. Bissette’s house. Zach and Randy find Mrs. Bissette hiding in her closet with a bloody bite on her leg. A small creature breaks through the wall and scurries outside. Zach and Randy follow the creature and see it collected by Pastor Greg (Terry Dale Parks), who behaves robotically before being driven away.
Zach and Randy show their strange video to Deputy Josh Haywood (Cam Gigandet) but Josh dismisses the footage as a probable prank.
When they confront Pastor Greg while he conducts a meeting with other robotic townspeople, including the sheriff. Pastor Greg denies being the person in the video and then bizarrely insults both boys’ families.
It doesn’t take long for almost everyone in town to be ‘off’, frightening the buddies and Kayla. Even sooner, they are running for their lives, hoping to find a reliable wifi signal to upload these incidents for the world to see.
Gripping, horrific and creepy but with some different twists, Assimilate is a well made and well acted Indy, classic-style teen horror flick which suggests a sequel or sequels.
Streaming now on: iTunes, Amazon, Sky Store, Virgin, Google, Chilli
Images courtesy of Blue Finch Films