Review: Almost Human, indie goes old school

You can tell right away that Joe Begos’ indie throwback Almost Human was heavily influenced by films like Carpenter’s Halloween and The Thing with even a little bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers thrown in there as well. And what you get when you combine all of those elements is 80 minutes of gooey practical effects and nonstop thrills. The film centers on Mark Fisher, a man who disappeared from his home in a brilliant flash of blue light almost two years ago. His friend Seth Hampton was the last to see him alive. Now a string of grisly, violent murders leads Seth to believe that Mark is back, and something evil is inside of him.

Almost Human flies by in the blink of an eye, which is great because nothing is worse than an 80 minute film that feels like 120. From its intense opening scene to the blood-fueled finale, Almost Human keeps up a solid pace that will entertain most horror fans from beginning to end. Sometimes with an independent film like this one, the filmmakers try to go way outside of the movie’s limits. If it’s a low budget film, embrace that shit! And Begos does exactly that, he embraces it, creating a film that never feels cheap and delivers nothing but practical effects that really drive the film.

The film’s greatest strength is that it throws as much blood at the screen as possible rather than getting bogged down by its own mythology. We already know its about aliens looking for hosts, no need to explore that any further when we could be watching people take an axe to the back of the head instead. Sometimes all the horror genre really needs is a simple idea with good execution. And speaking of good execution, the ending of the film is skull-crushingly awesome. It barrels through the final act at a breakneck speed delivering one final, brutal note that left me with a huge smile on my horror loving face.

My only real issue with this one is that because it borrows so many ideas from other great horror films, it never truly feels like something different. It has a hard time setting itself apart from the pack and standing out. That being said, it’s a fantastic love letter to the glory days of horror and it’s one hell of a starting point for director Joe Begos. I have a feeling that Almost Human is just the beginning of much more terrifying things to come. So if you like practical effects driven films with old school flair, then you will surely find a lot to like about Almost Human.

3/5

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If you are ever attacked by a gorilla just sit back and relax while you enjoy the once in a life time feeling of your limbs being ripped off.

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