A meteor carrying an unknown infection, lands outside a Small Californian community, bringing terror and death. Just after midnight, a local rancher named Larry Jenkins discovers the meteor and calls the police. Inspector Bardo is sent to the scene to investigate. The small Lawton police department is short-handed, as it is the night of the high school prom. Arriving at a desolate forest road miles out of town, Bardo discovers that Jenkins has been infected by the alien organism.
Directed by: Albert Pyun
. Starring: Jenny Dare Paulin
, Morgan Weisser
, Alan Abelew
, Tony Stewart
, Don Keith Opper
, Norbert Weisser
, Joseph Friedl
, Laurie O'Brien
, Cary Thompson
, Lauren Sutherland
, Scott Paulin
, Jade Sealey
. Music by: Anthony Riparetti
I made the mistake of giving my good friend Mr. Chark the remote control at 1 AM last night, and per usual he immediately shot for the OnDemand Menu, where he then proceeded to navigate to the FearNet page. For those of you not in the know, FearNet is a free movie channel devoted to delivering only the highest quality and most spooktastic films created. The night prior I had tossed the remote to him and we ended up on 'Boogeyman,' a 2005 spookfest starring 7th Heaven's Barry Watson. I didn't make it to the end of that one, but I'll take Mr. Chark's word for it and believe that it was not only spooky, but good.
Mr. Chark's process for choosing FearNet films is based on two parameters: the year created and the first sentence of the movie description. If the film has been created prior to 1980, or the description does not spook Mr. Chark out by the end of the first sentence ('A meteorspaceship crashes...' 'A spaceship crashes...' 'A houseyoung girl is terrorized...' 'A monsterplaguehorde of bats is unleashed...' etc) he will be inclined to select another.
In the case of 'Invasion'--or 'Infection' if you've managed to find this page, for which I commend you on your efforts--the 2005 copyright date was really all Mr. Chark needed to convince us and himself that this film would contain believable special effects and an all-around spookiness that only comes with contemporary horror films.
We were initially dissatisfied with the opening shots of the film, which consisted of 2-3 minutes of text fading in and out, but afterward we realized that the editing software used for the film was probably incapable of scrolling text (an assessment later reinforced by a 15 minute closing credit sequence that also did not incorporate a scroll). Easily forgivable. However, the second shot of the film was slightly less forgivable, in that it may or may not have been shot with a Gameboy Camera.
The third shot was probably the biggest mistake of the entire film, as it was not only bad, but it also comprised the remainder of the ~70 minutes of footage. Mr. Chark maintained that it would be a good spookfest, though, so we continued to watch.
We believed him for the first 15 minutes of said shot, which consisted of a police-cruiser-outfitted-with-an-HD camera driving a stretch of forest road. There were meteors falling sporadically, indicated by the dashboard camera inverting colors for a split-second.
The use of suspenseful music was questionable, as one would believe that a self-described 'true' POV film wouldn't need music unless it was actually diagetic in nature (a la Cloverfield, Blair Witch, mode, etc). Maybe the two characters were just blasting FearNet on SiriusXM.
There's a lot that makes sense in this movie. It's probably what would be a fairly realistic account of what driving back and forth across the same patch of forest for an hour would be like: long periods of silence, periodic mumbling that does nothing to advance the character or plot.
The 'Invasion' itself is also pretty realistic. Imagine if four people drove into the woods, and three of those four were then infected through their ear canal by an alien slug (it is now evident that the the writer and director films are young enough to have read Animorphs). Once infected, the alien's tactic for spreading itself is to stagger slowly, as if with palsy, and aggressively hug its next victim.
All that being said, the fourth uninfected human really just has to not be within arms' reach of any of the three infected people in the woods and she'll survive, which she can easily accomplish my walking briskly away from them at any point. She manages to do this for the majority of the film, which consequently means that the viewer will watch the same night-vision shot of an unmoving forest road for up to twenty minutes at a time.
Every so often we get auditory glimpses of what's going on outside the forest in the nearby town. The infection spreads there, lots of gunfire. This is relayed via radio transmission.
The best analogy we could come up for this was if 'Cloverfield' had been shot in Westchester from the point of view of a PlayStation Move camera, in which the subject is receiving text messages from a friend from NYC.
The scares were not good. I almost would have preferred things jumping out of the woods to startle me (I am a major wuss, though, so I'm glad they didn't), but it was clear that the actors had neither the physical prowess nor the coordination to work that into the script. At one point they make a big emphasis of what I took to be a bird taking a dump on the car's windshield. Is that spooky? Sort It's a bad movie. Real bad. Bad to do. Not even that spooky. I was upset. We were all a little upset. I wish we had watched Super Mario Brothers instead. That's free OnDemand, too.
I feel like on a normal review scale, 'Invasion' shouldn't register. However, I review on the Mr. Chark's Spook Scale, which puts this film at a lofty 2. While it is a miserable, half-aborted idea for a movie, it can't be the worst thing on FearNet by any means.
Review by cnlmanders from the Internet Movie Database.