The following trailer is banded red, but it’s all due to gory images rather than heaps of foul language and nudity, although part of a male’s behind is visible. So if you work in a slaughterhouse or a morgue, this is perfectly safe for work.
An official entry into the Toronto International Film Festival, Almost Human is the epitome of indie sci-fi horror. It’s writer/director Joe Begos’ first feature, it’s got a cast of mostly newbies, and its derivative plot focuses less on the sci-fi (aliens and parasites) and more on the horror (murder and mayhem). The only thing that appears to be missing is an appearance from Lance Henriksen or Malcolm McDowell.
A throwback to more hard-boiled genre films of the 1980s, Almost Human looks like a combination of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Eduardo Sánchez’s Altered, sprinkled with every movie where the line, “He isn’t who he says he is!” is yelled by at least one character. Truth be told, it’s a pretty decent trailer for what looks like a pretty generic film.
Seth (Graham Skipper) and Mark (Josh Ethier) are friends. A mysterious blue light appears and Mark disappears, showing up two years later nude and covered in gunk. Only this isn’t Mark! He’s possessed in some way, and murder appears to be his only intention. He’s capable of walking and talking like a normal person, but he’s got a bunch of scars and he can’t help but shoot people. I’m guessing the effects team didn’t have the budget to give Mark a wicked cool alien appendage, so they just chose to give him a shotgun and a digitized vocal inflection.
The main problem with this trailer is that Mark isn’t given any real motive for what he’s doing, aside from answering to whatever evil thing lurks inside of him. He doesn’t look like he wants to hurt his friends, but then he ends up hurting his friends, along with a bunch of other people. Is he invincible? Why isn’t anyone trying to stop him? These are just a few of the unimportant mysteries that Almost Human may or may not answer.
The real mystery here is the title of the film, which is obviously the same as the upcoming Fox series Almost Human, from J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman, as well as a handful of other films. The past few weeks have seen a legal battle between Warner Bros. and The Weinstein Company over the title of what is now Lee Daniels’ The Butler, all because Warners owns a 1916 silent short film titled The Butler and refused to allow TWC the rights to use it. Surely someone copyrighted Almost Human before now. Maybe it was the aliens.
The film’s TIFF premiere is set for September. You can ogle the admittedly awesome poster until then.