Here I am again with a review for Chimera. This time I’m taking you to science fiction town and dragging you through some thriller and horror in its wake. The director, Maurice Haeems is a virgin for feature films. He is not, however, a lightweight. After careers in mechanical/fluid engineering, investment banking, and software he collaborated with former investors and made this film. The casting was selected by Mark Tillman who also cast It (1990), MacGyver and Robocop (1994). It’s no wonder that casting for Chimera is tight.
Chimera recently had its World Premiere in February 2018 at the prestigious Fantasporto International Film Festival in Portugal. It’s still making its way around the festival circuit in many places.
What’s Chimera About?
A brilliant but disturbed scientist freezes his children alive. He races to cure their deadly genetic disease by decoding the DNA of the immortal Turritopsis jellyfish.
How Was It?
Chimera was not what I expected after seeing the trailer. The director (Haeems) has a thing for immortality and transhumanism. They aren’t the only big words I learned during and after seeing this film.
When I watch science fiction films, I’m more a Life (2017), Alien or Star Wars girl. They would be the opposite of the type of film Maurice wanted to make. He wanted to introduce a “new and unique world that is both consistent within itself, and also consistent with the real world as we know it. Only such a world can elicit from the viewer the desired but elusive “this could really happen” response.
There are some fantastic scenes used to create the essence of the bond Quint has with his children. Neither of the kids had acted prior to this, and while they weren’t perfect, they passed. The baddies were the odd type, not the super organised type. It almost felt as if they were put in to create a diversion. I wasn’t keen on them but they were slightly necessary to the story. I think I’d of preferred Masterson (Kathleen Quinlan) to be slightly less ‘crazy investor’ and more professional adversary.
The story is not perfect but if you like films that cover intricate detail to its fullest potential. If you like timelines that would’ve caused bionic level migraines for the creators to tell the tale then you will appreciate this effort.
I thought to myself, the science nerds are going to love this! I Iiked the recent movie Annihilation which hit Netflix last month. It features parables with cancer science and other tiny details I totally missed. I enjoyed the giant crocodiles and man-face bear. Chimera has no such things. I saw a beautifully deconstructed film that manages to cover themes of loss, regret, and love, both spurned and eternal. The warehouse-style laboratory looks rather pretty at times. There is an ethereal vibe through some really pretty lighting. The dream-like feeling remains, even when the body count is starting to rise and cloned dogs get used for organ harvesting.
If this is the first effort for Haeems, I wait in anticipation for what he has in the works. I heard a rumor (via email from the press release) his next project is called The Archetype. It will continue further with the theme of advancement in human biotechnology and the extension of human lifespans. It’s something close to the director’s heart after going through experiences that ignited Chimera into the story it became.
I give Chimera 3.5 barbequed prop pigs out of 5.