Dir: Maksim Dyachuk
Star: Elena Sherbakova, Leonid Gusarov, Vladimir Kokin, Oleg Burlakov

Proof that Hollywood does not have a monopoly on shallow horror movies, where vacuous and irritating teenagers behave idiotically, and suffer for their stupidity. The makers do get credit though, for using the theme of a meteorite crashing to earth more than year before the Chelyabinsk fireball. Here, it brings from space a host of... well, spores, I guess, which rapidly evolve into a flourishing ecosystem that takes over a deserted factory in the middle of the Russian countryside. Into which arrive a car of five teenagers, who decide, for no readily apparent reason, to stop off there. It's also nice to see that stereoypes know no international borders, so you have to endure the company of the jock, the slut, the hyperactive one, etc. My early prediction of a) who'd survive, b) the order in which they'd die, and c) the final shot proved almost spot-on: turned out there was a coda after my expected final shot, though this actually brought my survival prediction score to 100%.

Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with familiarity, albeit more so when it comes to slippers and pillows than movies. However, the execution is pretty ropey. While the creature designs are imaginative, covering the scope from little things that scurry along the floor, to mostrous anemones that drop on their prey from the ceiling, they only ever appear cut/pasted on to the screen witht the live characters, rather than inhabiting the same space as them. Perhaps the film makes up in excessive gore what they lack in CGI talent? No, not really, save one amusing moment where a victim is bitten in half. The main thing the movie has going for it is the location, an abandoned industrial facility which does more to generate a spooky atmosphere than any other aspect. This was, apparently, a one-man labour of love for Dyachuk, who also wrote and did the visual effects, so some credit is due for that. However, earnest intent isn't enough; when we have plenty of companies producing ropey genre films in the West, it's not an area where we really need to import them as well.

[March 2015]

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