Now That’s What I Call Quite Good: Snatchers

snatchers 2 indexMany see the act of conception and giving birth to a human life to be one of the most beautiful and wonderous things a human being can experience, but I am not one of those people. The idea of bringing a life in to this horrendous existence is an act of cruelty that disturbs me an enormous amount, and I’ve a feeling the same might apply with the writers and director of this horror comedy from 2019 that’s based on a short film and web series made a couple of years previously.

Sara (Mary Nepi) is a peppy high schooler who’s ditched her nerdy old friend Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse) and hangs out with the cool kids, but her ex Skyler (Austin Fryberger) doesn’t seem to want anything to do with her because she won’t sleep with him, and so she does the worst thing possible and lets him screw her that very evening. Which was always going to be a bad idea at the best of times, but it’s especially awful this time around as the next day she’s vomiting and having awful mood swings, and the day after that it looks like she’s a week off giving birth. Before you can say “Hey, this sure does sound like a teen comedy take on Alien” she’s dragged poor old Hayley to a clinic, and a creature bursts out of her vagina and kills the two professionals present.

Sara’s woes aren’t over with either as despite giving birth to one horrible beast something is still inside her. The creature she did spawn has a habit of burrowing in to the skulls of the deceased and controlling their bodies as well, which is something of a problem for everyone who lives in this previously sleepy old town. She and Hayley head over to see old friend Dave (Rich Fulcher), though how they know this fifty one year old man isn’t quite ever explained, and soon her mum (J.J. Nolan) and local cop Oscar (Nick Gomez) are involved too.

After starting off at a fast pace it dips around the half hour mark for about fifteen minutes as they try and work out exactly what’s going on while keeping it quiet from the adults in their lives, but once the police are involved it becomes a lot more violent, and so a lot more fun, and when Sara gives birth to a second beast it’s nicely unpredictable. There are a couple of issues, with Sara certainly only seemingly minorly bothered that her mother might be dead and that a sod load of cops are heading to the morgue because of what was inside her, but then this is a daft teen comedy that’s more concerned about providing bloody laughs than realism.

It captures the pettiness of teenage life effectively both before and after the creature is killing folks, the blood and gore is amusingly portrayed most of the time, though its low budget roots means there’s not as much as I’d normally like to see in this kind of fare. The script is a largely self aware work that is very knowledgeable of the genre movies that have come before it, it contains a very sympathetic lead performance from Mary Nepi, and if you’ve a fondness for this sort of silliness then it’s a movie which you’ll enjoy being disturbed by.

★★★1/4

Alex Finch.
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