Assimilate isn’t the most complicated horror movie, but due to the leads it has, it puts you on edge as their lives are threatened.
|Screenplay By||John Murlowski, Steven Palmer Peterson|
|Date Released (Netflix)||10/25/2019|
|Good If You Like||
|Mrs. Bissette||Amye Gousset|
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Plot Summary/ Review
It’s senior year, and it seems Randy and Zach don’t have any concrete plans on what to do after high school. So, they decide to start a web series talking about their small town in Missouri. A place they lead you to believe is an utter bore, outside of a few people worth paying attention to, like Zach’s childhood crush Kayla, and Mrs. Bissette.
However, things become exciting quickly as the people of the town become increasingly robotic. Thus leading to Zach and Randy investigating and discovering what is awry. But, the question is: Are they too late to do anything about it?
It Doesn’t Allow You To Think Everyone Will Be Safe
With films like this, often you are left feeling that nothing bad could happen to the lead characters and that anyone whose name you learn will survive. That isn’t true. Many people, whether they are friends or family, they are killed off and replaced. And as one of the major characters suffer this fate, it puts you on notice and reminds you that our heroes are teenagers with little to no discernible skills. So them surviving a takeover of their town is, realistically, slim.
You Care About The Characters
Which makes the fact you care about them so important. For horror films live or die based on you connecting with the leads, and when it comes to Randy, Zach, and Kayla, you want this threesome to live. After all, Zach and Kayla are adorable, and with them nearly being separated by her going off to Peru, you want to see one of them step up and express their feelings.
Then when it comes to Zach and Randy, it isn’t clear how long they’ve been friends, but there is something about Worthy as someone’s friend or love interest which feels so natural. Maybe it is because there is something kind of weird about him, that makes him feel less manufactured, or him just being a natural. Either way, watching Courtney and Worthy play off one another makes it so you could only hope as things get worse, they, alongside Matichak’s character, grow closer and get smarter.
Generally, endings that hint at sequels are a bit too presumptuous and, in horror movies, are laughable since they often don’t deserve sequels. Be it due to them holding off major answers to questions for a sequel, or the characters being people you wished died. Assimilate doesn’t have that issue, and that makes the setup for an additional movie not as bad as it could be.
On The Fence
Knowing Little To Nothing About The Villains
Taking note the leads are teens, them not fully understand what or who is taking over the town helps in reminding you these kids are in high school. So while they have some survival skills, when things get really bad, they aren’t necessarily equipped to save the world. Yet, as a viewer, it is hard not to wonder who or what is invading and taking over? Especially since we’re not even given a hint.
Yet, there is also the need to question, with a sequel hinted at, would it ruin things to explain what is going on? Because that is the issue with horror sometimes, the more it explains things, the more ridiculous things get. Making it so you have to really suspend disbelief to stay connected to the movie. However, as much as the genre often sucks at backstory, unless they want to build sympathy for the leads quickly, there is still this craving for an explanation. Making it so the film is in a bit of a lose/lose situation.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
Courtney, Worthy, and Matichak are the deciding factors on why this movie is being labeled worth seeing. Worthy, who lives up to his last name, continues to prove himself as an actor who wisely chooses his roles and thinks beyond the idea that acting is about learning on the job. For in the process of making mistakes, and trying to become a better actor, often you can ruin your brand and make it so if you are associated with something, it doesn’t bring confidence. However, between The Act, Bodied, and the upcoming The Boonies, he has become a trusted name for us.
So, taking note of characters you’ll become protective over, especially as their lives are threatened, and a potential for a welcomed sequel, check out Assimilate, which is currently on Netflix.