Mediocre: They Look Like People
Written and directed by Perry Blackshear
Produced by Perry Blackshear, MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel, Kimberly Parker, Elena Greenlee
Starring MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel, Margaret Ying Drake
No suspense subsists for surety: the first and worst flaw of this oddity is the positive probability that its straying, schizophrenic protagonist (Andrews) is hallucinating every muscid buzz, transformative mutation and forewarning phone call auguring mankind's inevitable conflict with insidious, inhuman creatures. In NYC, he bonds while billeting with an old friend (Dumouchel), a lean cut of office veal struggling through bodybuilding and a forcible facade to overcome his scarcity of self-esteem and diffidence in the presence of a cute superordinate (Drake) on whom he's crushing. In his every capacity save one, freshman writer/cinematographer/director/editor/production and sound designer Blackshear impresses, as when swimmingly encapsulating his characters each with but a few momentary, prefatory shots, or contrasting conversational contexts with a discrepance occasioned by Andrews' dysphoric confusion. A few truly spooky scenes aside, this pic's more efficacious as a drama than a horror, demonstrating handily how beta males confound themselves by overbearing overcompensation and reflexive recoil from feminine flirtation, mental illness by paranoia perpetuates itself, and American urbanites are no longer at all urbane. Co-producers Andrews and Dumouchel excel as the troubled cohabitants in japery and intensely disquieting incidents to a moving and cathartic climax. Blackshear's insights regarding the frustrations unique to isolated young men are far more occupying than an unconvincing (albeit vividly depicted) conspiracy theory; mayhap the latter matter ought've been curtailed, if not excised.
Instead, watch Repulsion, Let's Scare Jessica to Death, Images, The Tenant...