7 March 2010 | knuckles03
Not ground-breaking, but better than it has any right to be
I cringe at any movie released on the SciFi channel, but I felt an inborn need to watch this since it was set and filmed in my home state of Missouri (which almost never happens) if for no reason other than to get mad when they messed it up. I went in with the lowest of expectations of this and I'm happy to report that I was was very surprised by this.
Right off the bat I got hit with 3 good points: 1)Vincent Ventresca is the lead. I've loved Vincent's work ever since The Invisible Man, so seeing him as the star definitely brought my hopes up. 2)The effects weren't terrible. The CG is a little dodgy in spots and it's obvious that it is CG, but these still look really good for a low budget straight-to-DVD affair. 3) They actually got the people right. I was so pleased to see that none of the actors were talking in Southern accents, people seem to think that any state that fought for the south is full of people with deep Carolina drawls, but fortunately the accents are appropriately neutral and the culture reflects a non-Southern rural culture which pleased me to no end.
William Forsythe is surprisingly great in this and manages to capture the demeanor of a Missouri cattle farmer pretty much spot-on. Granted he fulfills the trope of having an armory hidden away in his barn but that's pretty much par for the course at this point.
The story is pretty straight-forward genetic testing causes bad effects that result in the mutation of indigenous species, causing them to grow large/dangerous and wreak havoc on a small town and only our hero, a mild-mannered veterinarian and a local gun-nut farmer can stop the evil corporate CEO and warn the town in time.
This movie misses a few cues, for one thing there's only about 4 characters that matter and everyone else is 100% expendable and the story barely acknowledges anyone else. There's a few plot threads that appear only to just disappear with no explanation later on. And there's not much going on in the way of build-up until the monsters arrive.
But once the monsters do get there there's a fair amount of blood and gore, the movie's never really suspenseful or scary but it doesn't disappoint in the action department and has a suitably explosive and violent finale.
The acting is good for what this is and a few people like William Forsythe and Vincent Ventresca do a very good job with their characters even though they're not given much to do with them.
This movie isn't going to be remembered for generations to come, but as a bargain-bin monster movies go it ranks up there with Komodo as a surprisingly good and fun movie that's good for a rental or even a buy. It's worth watching more than once and I plan to pick it up myself.