Fantasia Festival Review – They Look Like People

THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE

 

They Look Like People is a micro-budget horror/drama written and directed by Perry Blackshear. Since it’s première at Slamdance 2015, They Look Like People went on to win multiple awards at different festivals throughout the year.

The film follows Wyatt (MacLeod Andrews), a nice guy who is just down on his luck.  He ain’t got a job, and his girlfriend has just broken up with him after they got engaged. What Wyatt isn’t telling anyone is that he hears voices, and is also contacted by phone by a mysterious caller. This caller is telling him that most of the people around him are not human, and that he must prepare to destroy them.

When Wyatt drifts into town not long after the break-up with his girlfriend, he goes to stay with his friend, Christian (Evan Dumouchel). His friend is aware that Wyatt has had a rough time, and would like him to stay for a while to try and take his mind of his mounting pressures.

During his stay at the apartment we learn a lot about both characters, and their friendship, which is really strong. Wyatt won’t say anything to Christian – it doesn’t matter who you are, if someone tells you that the people outside are demons in human-form, then they’re not going to believe you, are they?

Wyatt becomes increasingly paranoid, and starts to tape knives underneath tables in the basement. He also has a new axe, a nail-gun, and enough sulphuric acid to turn you into a  puddle of goop on the ground. He takes time out of his day to practice with his new weaponry, shooting nails through thick planks of wood, and pouring sulphuric acid over meat just to see how much damage it will cause.

Christian, and his girlfriend (Margaret Ying Drake) start to see changes in Wyatt.  They start to worry about his behaviour, and start to fear for their own safety.There is one scene when Wyatt is down in the basement with Christian’s girlfriend, and he starts to make her feel really uncomfortable when he produces an axe and say’s some really weird shit.

They Look Like People delivers on so many levels. The blend of horror and mental illness is perfectly balanced. Just like Wyatt, the viewer is not sure which side to take. Is this all in his head, and will innocent people die as a result of his mental illness? –  or is the people around him demons that need to be destroyed?.

They Look Like People is shot on a tiny budget. It has a powerful script, with great character development, and characters that you care about. Even though there was only a few people in the flick, you got to know them well.

If you’re expecting a gruesome horror filled with blood, guts and chainsaws then They Look Like People will probably disappoint you. There is small bits of horror that take place, and they’re done extremely well, but there isn’t a lot of them.

However, when you realise that the horror in this movie takes place inside someone’s mind, inside someone’s fragile mental-state, then it adds a sense of realism that is more believable than a lot of the horrors currently on the market.

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