Eye For Film >> Movies >> Cyst (2020) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
A plastic surgery clinic full of nervous customers. A frustrated nurse on her last day. A crazed doctor determined to revolutionise treatment with his new laser-powered machine. When an accident occurs, a cyst removed from a body gains independent life, grows to gigantic size and goes on the rampage. Some people will never comprehend the appeal of this kind of film. For those who do, it seems to promise thrills galore. Unfortunately, whilst there is some fun to be had, it never quite delivers as it should.
The best thing about the film is Eva Habermann as the nurse. It's tough to deliver a multi-layered performance that still works with this type of material, but necessary to sustaining such a film over time, and she makes a very effective lead. Less successful is George Hardy as the doctor. He's got his manic laugh down well and delivers on evil gurning but struggles with the interlinking material, unable to make these behaviours cohere with the rest of what he has to do. Whilst it might seem as if anything goes in a spoof, precision and control are vital if it's to work as intended. Entertaining moments need to be brought together into an effective whole.
The biggest problem here is one of scale. Whilst the monster itself is good and will charm fans of classic B-movie horror, with its cute glowing eyes and wiggling tentacles, it doesn't get to do much rampaging when it only has the clinic to move around in. This is probably a budgetary issue first and foremost, the story having been written to cater that, but there's no enough inventiveness to make up for it. As a consequence, the film feels overlong even at a slight 69 minutes.
It scores well when it comes to effects. They may not always be convincing but they fit the style well, and whilst the early stages of the film may focus a little too heavily on the innuendo potential of squirting milky liquid (which may make this a hit with some younger viewers), the later segue into gore allows for more creativity. Director Tyler Russell also knows when showing us only a part of what's happening will make it more effective, as when the cyst swallows its first human whole. It doesn't have many abilities but they're well utilised.
Despite its shortcomings, this Frightfest pick retains some appeal for creature feature fans and, like most of its ilk, will go down best with a group of friends and a few beers.Reviewed on: 25 Oct 2020