Film Reviews:


(Brian Yuzna, US, 1998)

A surgeon and his wife speak to their psychiatrist about the night they had sex, saw a blinding blue light and 'lost' two hours of their lives. It turns out that aliens took the surgeon's wife, impregnated her and now she's about to give birth to something not exactly human.

A tired idea gets a tired treatment from genre regular Brian Yuzna. Restrained and sedate might a polite way of describing the direction, slow and dull is another. There are some nice small touches like the people in the street seen by the distraught wife who have completely black eyes, the odd sound effects and whispering voices that crop up from time to time. But the unconvincing tenticular alien sequences do little to stir much sympathy for the victim, even if actress Lindsay Crouse is the best performer on screen. Wilfred Brimley is a reassuringly cuddly grandad presence, and Arnold Vosloo as the surgeon looks quite like the singer from The Beloved and sounds uncannily like Christopher Walken. So much so, that if you could think of any remote reason as to why Walken might have dubbed him you'd bet a decent amount of money on the idea.

True to form for Yuzna, there is an absolutely gross birth (dream - yawn) sequence that prompts me to warn any pregnant women to avoid this film at all costs! But that's about it for goo - suspiciously low quotient for a Yuzna outing. Other than the wobbly aliens, that is the only other significant special effect in the entire film. The budget must have been pretty tight - it certainly looks tight. Most of the (slight) unnerving - or was that nauseuating - feeling comes from extensive use of handheld camerawork and unusual angles - all of which cost absolutely nothing in terms of post production of course. With The Dentist, Yuzna's already proven he can deliver a great tongue-in-cheek horror package. Here, it looks like his mind was elsewhere when working on the project and the finished result is dreary TV-movie fodder. Don't bother.

Rob Dyer

A-Z Index of Film Reviews