Loyal Readers, I have been unfaithful to ye. I must confess that it’s been two months since my last blog post. This sort of slovenly scribing behavior shall not stand. For all you innumerable plebs picketing countless hours outside the gates of Monster at the End of a Dream HQ, your voices have been heard.
The solution? Offer you at least one concise post a week on mostly lesser-known flicks of the darker nature that you can catch via interweb streaming. Between the laundry lists that take me countless man hours to compile, this should at least ease the suffering a bit. Maybe I’ll even rake in more massive contributions like the one I’m still waiting on from that Sudanese prince… Anyway, on to the first edition in this series. But wait, speaking of Sudanese royalty and cinema, how about an intermission before we continue:
Yes, I got the popcorn and I know what else you like. So let me take you to the movies…
They Look Like People
Perry Blackshear’s feature debut They Look Like People is essentially the Millennial’s indie-film answer to John Carpenter’s They Live. Actually, I challenge you to look for a legitimate review of this film that doesn’t use They Live as a parallel. If it weren’t for copyright issues, I bet TLLP would be called They Live 2: When Hipsters Attack.
I digress. This is where I tell you that They Look Like People is—in terms of movies I just randomly stumbled on—one of my favorite things I’ve watched on Netflix in the last year.
Premise: A paranoid scraggly loner shows up at the doorstep of his cubicle-working high school buddy who has major inferiority complex issues and listens to self-help tapes. Scraggly dude starts getting ominous phone calls from a man telling him things like, “If we do not stop them, they will enslave and butcher every good person left on Earth. You must prepare for the war.” Then self-help tape guy starts dating his really cute boss, and scraggly guy brings everybody in on his secret that an an evil, alien force is overtaking ordinary people.
It’s apparent from the outset that the film’s premise revolves around whether our main man Wyatt is preparing to fight demons or just battling the ones in his head; schizo or undercover doomsday warrior?
Over the course of the film’s 79 short minutes, this question builds to a massive, swarming crescendo. Some very strong newcomer performances (MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel, Margaret Ying Drake), a subtle-yet feverishly taut narrative and ace sound-mixing are the key ingredients in a very impressive psychological-suspense debut by Blackshear. If you don’t expect horror or thriller (or much of anything, like myself) and can handle a slow-burn indie psychological-suspense flick, it doesn’t get much better for a shoe-string budget than They Look Like People. You should also check out The Battery (Amazon Prime) if you liked this, and vice versa.
7 thoughts on “Streaming Bleak This Week, #1: They Look Like People on Netflix Instant”
We want popcorn! When do we want it? Now!
Glad that you are back with a new itinerary and a less slovenly approach to your rancid viewing pleasure heavily interspersed with crescendo shaped recommendations. Hot, bated, sticky, putrid breath can finally be exhaled.
They Live is one of my all time faves, a great film with a brilliantly executed premise, the black and white scenes were nailed on. Roddy Piper deserved more parts on the back of the alley fight alone. I mean Jesse ‘Sexual Tyrannasaurus’ Ventura chewed cigar and shot trees in Predator, where Rowdy carried They Live virtually on his lonesome.
Will check out the above and The Battery, cheers!
Checked out more of your bleakyness your honor, and it was all dark and raining. Nicky Cage was great in the Joe film. Blue Ruin was good. Wolf Creek 2 was a pleasantly unpleasant view, you were danged right about that Roo blue! Funny as funky cobber. Likewise God Bless America a laugh a minute athon with a large dash of Natural Born Killers vibe going off.
My highlights this last couple of weeks were ‘Room 237’. I mean you gotta love those guys and the dedication to the cause. ‘The Shallows’ a nice, new shiny version of Jaws without Quinn, a bigger boat and a rubber shark. It does have character in spades, which was sadly lacking in ‘Landmine Goes Click’. 2 hours of existence sadly wasted. Wished it had clicked freaking sooner. Whereas ‘The Final Girl’ had a heart, a great homage to ’80s slasher movies.
Here is hoping that your Sudanese military coup works out Mr Adams and if not see ya in November.
……… and all together now
Tan me hide when I’m dead Fred
Tan me hide when I’m dead
creepy weirdo bastard!
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Thank you, sir. Glad you got around to some of those I mentioned—especially Joe and Blue Ruin. Looks like I’ll need to be checking out Room 237 in concert with The Shining. (Actually been awhile since I revisited Kubrick’s great, ghastly opus.)
I was originally very excited for The Shallows, even if it did look like a big studio PG-13 horror-lite flick. My main reasoning for this was because of the jumping shark in the preview. I love good CGI, and I have long been utterly transfixed with the topic of South African jumping Great Whites. But yes, you aren’t the first to report back that it was middling at best.
Also, do you mean Final Girl (on Netflix) or The Final Girls (which I’ve been dying to see)?
I blame it on my hopeless English and odd vernacular.
‘The Shallows’ was good, more story and character than could be expected of a horror where Miss Wet Suit rock hops about for 80 minutes with wobbly bits wobbling and catering for the blog writing horror weirdos, living in their parents basements, demanding less exposition and more exploitation and exposure. I gave it a B* outta 5.
I hadn’t seen The Shining for years but Room 237 has been on my radar. I approached it from a ‘absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence’ they are only telling you what is there for every one to see, it’s the interpretation that varies. In my world if its green, slimy, hopping about and when you kiss it a princess appears, it’s a frog. Kubrick was almost obsessive with the miniutae in his works, and for all that to have been left in by mistake or accident is more bizarre than thinking it’s placed there for some reason. You have got to love those basement dwelling frame by frame scrutinizes.
I meant The Final Girls, and it was good, and I laughed so it must have been funny.
This weeks pan fried delicacies have been ‘The Battery’, ‘Southbound’, ‘Carnage Park’, and ‘I Spit On Your Grave (remake)’.
Not so good ‘They Look Like People’ it’s a vegimite thing, I can see how some will love it, for me it was close but not quite.
Trash for the maggot infested bin was ‘Bound To Vengeance’ good idea, but poorest execution since Albert Pierrepoint misjudged the length of rope needed.
And while we are about avenging I haven’t seen ‘Lady Vengance’ from your house of Han. Is it as good as Audition, I Saw The Devil and Old Boy?
Fuck fuck fuck, I just wrote you a novel and refreshed the page accidentally. This is why my old ass needs fucking interns that I can dictate to like an opioid-induced David Milch…
Anyway, Final Girls looks great–will check out. Southbound is on my radar (annoyed that I missed it on Netflix). Hadn’t heard of Carnage Park but I’ll keep an eye out.
I’ve been talking about the Spit on Your Grave remake a lot recently—no idea why. I thought it was a very admirable follow up to the original (not in the same ballpark, but admirable nonetheless). That first one is actually one of the few films I can think of that has parts that are difficult for me to watch. Enter a Serbian flick (we need to discuss that at some point) and the original House at the End of the Street (1972, you need to watch that if you haven’t for whatever reason).
Sorry you didn’t get into They Look Like People. Love it or hate it type film, I guess. With that in mind, by the way, please don’t watch Bob and the Trees (my next pick in this series) until you take me up on some recommendations I know you’ll like, as that one can also be trying (I’ll get to those recs in a sec).
No, Lady Vengeance is not in the same league as Oldboy and I Saw the Devil. As a major fan of that Han shit, those last two are really the creme de la creme. Check out The Chaser if you haven’t (I’ll go so far as to say that it’s actually worth renting a DVD!). The Yellow Sea is also great, and I hear Mother is as well (although I haven’t seen it). I’ve written about most of the other notable ones on the blog, as they are either currently or have been on Netflix. You watched The Man With No Name, correcto? A Hard Day? I highly recommend both. I would say that within the Vengeance Trilogy, Lady Vengeance is my No. 2, with Mr. Vengeance at No. 3. All said, Lady Vengeance is certainly worth a gander.
OK, here’s one more rec since I struck out for you on TLLP. Dead Set is a five-part zombie series (just over two hours in all) that comes from Charlie Brooker’s warped mind (Black Mirror) and was both smart and entertaining as fuck when I sat down and devoured it in one sitting. Been meaning to write a blog on that one, and probably still will. But you get it first, my esteemed correspondent! Who reads the comments, anyway? ….
Only the weirdo completists read the comments, gotta read it all blue!
I had a wall versus phone moment last week when my gettysburg length reply discussing the ins and outs of Human Centipede, and extolling the virtues of being at the head of the queue rather than the back was accidentally deleted. Mind you probably for the best!
Carnage Park, modern old school out in the wilds, girl in danger movie, like House of the Devil. But with rocks. Oh and desert. Oh and no house. Or devil.
The Final Girls you will like. Southbound is not bad, American gothic vibe.
Spit OYG, was a chuckle fest huh! I don’t think I’ve seen the original, but they made a decent enough fist of the remake. Nothing ground breaking but a great sheriff.
Agghhh Serbian Flick, I wondered how you were set for writing an ‘extreme’ entry on your blog. I have so far swerved it myself, I’ve read what the get go is and it doesn’t do anything for me. ‘Anti-christ’ and ‘Martyrs (French original)’ are probably as hard core extreme as I have watched, but the stories were good, and the wtf was that all about at the end of both was worth the entrance fees. Irreversible I’m not bothered with. Whereas I Saw The Devil was a blast a minute. Serbian flick is a tough sell.
I still think one of the shockers to watch is the x-files ‘Home’ episode (episode 2, season 4). Doesn’t need to be buckets of gore to get under ya skin.
Will put house at the end on my list, I quite liked the remake of last house on the left they made.
There wasn’t anything wrong with they like look people, it reminded me of the vibe in ‘Right at my door’ I just didn’t think he was paranoid enough, I needed more from the lead. But it was OK. But I can see how some might lurve it.
The Chaser sounds OK.