In a future where we no longer have the ability to dream, people have turned to 'Fantasites', a genetically engineered parasite that induces the user's wildest fantasies. When one socially awkward young man begins using this new miracle dream aid, hoping they'll bring excitement to his mundane life and get him closer to the girl of his 'dreams,' he soon finds the line between reality and fantasy squirming away.
Directed by: Doug Mallette
. Starring: John Ferguson
, Shane O'Brien
, Jes Mercer
, Scott Ferguson
, Sarah Shoemaker
, Mark DeMaio
, Josh Matthews
, Mandy Allyn
, Rob Bennett
, Dallas Birchfield
, Jennifer Bonior
, Kevin Breckenridge
, Joe Carroll
. Music by: Bill Mitchell
A surprisingly dark yet delightful watch that will undoubtedly stay under the radar despite deserving (in my mind) much wider public acknowledgement!
Worm manages to inject awkward and continuous humour to a fairly darkXfuturistic situation (mainly and very successfully carried by the main character Charles-John Ferguson). Based on a future parasite that will have you dreaming a new life up for yourself for endless hours of enjoyment, but will eventually be your downfall, with withdrawal being worse than heroin - worm accomplishes an uncomfortably sickening stir like that of a thriller and definitely contains horrific moments leading to many small plot twists that carry the fast pace and interest to the very end.
Although the plot could be considered to draw comparisons with the downward spiral of drug addiction, I would say the film does not hyper focus on this, which in turn makes you realise it is not the only sole point, and gives way to more intrigue, whereby intelligently leaving characters actions and intentions open to interpretation, dealing with many societal cross relating flaws of relationships, friendships, animal attachments, power of the media, loneliness, mental health and subsequently gang culture, and degradation of normal, as the lines become blurred.
clever use of 'live' news reports and clips dropped in are a nice addition to involve the viewer and trigger a reminder of the ulterior reality that is being portrayed here.
You can't help but feel the sense of deja vu as the mainly quirky but cheerful classical Esq musical score draws comparisons with the critically acclaimed - ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, along with other elements of the switch between dream and reality shots filmed melting into one another and the beautiful arty character shots of Charles and his growing love interest - June (Jes Mercer) slowly falling for each other whilst living off their individual 'fantasite' addiction. With the similar clairvoyant look at the future apparent here.
This nostalgia that is evoked is followed with a feeling that other influence and inspiration for the close and long juxtaposed camera angles switching quite often, and the delicacy of the character development draws similar to the dark classic - REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.
Both films of which in my eyes, helped build the modern film epidemic.
The cross elements of romance and comedy that flow throughout make it hard to box into a genre, but truly display how you do not need a big Hollywood budget to create a thought provoking modern gem.
All acting and character development retains strength throughout, and there is simply not a weak strand to this production.
Though you may be feeling the ending lacks explanation. All in all a tremendous piece by director Doug Mallette, that all cast and crew added to positively.
Although I'm sure you could micro pick small holes in the plot making of this film, I don't think it would be worthwhile considering the enjoyment of watching it. A definite 'should' watch for all!! Especially those intrigued with a bit of grim squirming dark humour, with impressive characterisation and content.
Review by koolkitty_222 from the Internet Movie Database.