Final Recall


Reviewed by: Jane Fae

Final Recall
"About two-thirds in, the film turns aside from the well-travelled predictable path and becomes something else entirely."

Just what is it with American kids and remote cabins in the woods? Surely they've seen The Blair Witch Project (kids find shack, unleash unknown dangers)? Or Friday The 13th (kids in cabins slaughtered by vengeful mask-wearing slasher)? Not forgetting Cabin Fever (blood, blood and more blood) or, the daddy of them all as far as this genre goes, The Cabin In The Woods (teens, blood and monsters)?

Surely some basic survival instinct should kick in and five young Americans out for whatever Americans get up to on a weekend in the woods would notice the danger signs as Final Recall gears up for bloody action.

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The weirdo hanging out in the shack in the woods. The dead animals hanging from trees. The unbelievably strange storm which, Miss Nice Girl observes, is happening “Everywhere. Everywhere but here. Thank God.”

Nice Girl looks out of the window. Ooops!

After which, things get nasty fast. The car battery is dead. Did someone leave the lights on? Or did the chunk of metal that someone inserted between the two terminals have something to do with it?

Storm hits. Phone comms die, though not before a troubling TV warning that aliens are landing. There is evil goo on the porch. Something nasty on the roof. Nice girl has asthma. Jock guy has brought a gun.

What could possibly go wrong?

From here it is rapidly downhill, with strange lights, levitating aliens (a cross between squid and a free-floating cerebral cortex), stalking aliens (grey and skeletal), and flashing spaceships.

What will become of our fearful Five? Does anyone care? In their one-dimensionality, Nicey, Sexy, Nerdy, Moody and Jock (collectively Laura Bilgeri, Jedidiah Goodacre, RJ Mitte, Niko Pepaj and Hannah Rose May) do for the stalker horror alien abduction genre pretty much what Snow White's dwarves did for serious drama.

Luckily for them, the weirdo in the woods (Wesley Snipes) turns out to be a once-upon-a-time astronaut, whose career took a downward turn after he was abducted by aliens and no-one believed him! Omigosh!!!

Nothing for it but to retreat to the wild, set traps and wait for the extra-terrestrials to come back: Rambo meets ET, with extreme prejudice.

Who will survive? Who will sacrifice themselves in one last act of redeeming heroism? Afficionadoes of the genre will likely extrapolate the rest of the movie from about 20 minutes in: beware; you would be very wrong. Because about two-thirds in, the film turns aside from the well-travelled predictable path and becomes something else entirely. Kinky-alien-abduction and teens in slime meets Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers.

In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that this was billed as standalone film, it absolutely feels like launch pad for one of those interminable sagas that US audiences love so well.

That saves it a little, but not by much. The film format is Barco Escape, which suggests that if you do watch it, you should aim to do so in a multi-screen, Escape-enabled cinema. But apart from the technological advance – if such it really is – the film scores low on quality of effects, dialogue, characterisation, plot and pretty much anything else it can score on. And while Snipes may have enjoyed turning in a performance as wild-eyed reclusive veteran, not even this can save it.

All in all, not a film I would recommend.

Reviewed on: 07 Aug 2017
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Five friends go to stay at a remote lake house in ignorance of the fact that planet Earth is facing an alien invasion and mass-abduction.

Director: Mauro Borrelli

Writer: Reggie Keyohara III, Mauro Borrelli

Starring: Wesley Snipes, RJ Mitte, Jedidiah Goodacre, Laura Bilgeri, Niko Pepaj, Hannah Rose May

Year: 2017

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: Canada


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