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Strange Nature

A guest review by Spencer Hackett

Environmental horror meets body horror this time with Strange Nature. Not got much idea about this other than it claims to be “The first film to expose unsolved wildlife deformity outbreaks and where they may lead” according to IMDB. I’m pretty sure that isn’t true, I’ve seen plenty of mutant fish/mutant beastly eat people films, but perhaps it isn’t going to go that way. It’s directed by James Ojala, who started out doing effects for Troma, then has done makeup on Thor and X Men and that sort of stuff, so I’m expecting some good gore. This is his feature film debut and doesn’t appear mad high on the budget scales. Lisa Sheridan is the lead role of Kim Sweet, along with a relatively unknown supporting cast. And you know the drill, spoilers ahead, so jump to the little paragraph at the bottom for my overall thoughts.

I like these retro type titles, very John Carpenter. Although why are some letters bigger than others, that “I” is massive. Oh is it to do with the abnormalities in the fishes and stuff, clever…

NEWS MONTAGE, love a news montage.

Based on a true story my ass.

Did she just tell her son to suck it…

That dogs not making it, bet you now. Also who calls a dog kinky.

God I hate this child.

Not more children…

Dogs pregnant, those puppies are doomed.

Oooooo hand impalement.

Oh my god it’s Kid Rock!!!!

I have nothing to say…

I love that the frogs are clearly stock footage.

I don’t think the primary school science teacher is the best authority to warn about fucked up frogs. (Note to self, fucked up frogs is a great band name)

That scene didn’t need a fade to black.

So the Mom was a pop star, and she doesn’t like it, does this mean we get a big sing off moment at the end? (Ed’s note – hopefully)

Ok, so what happened when she was a pop star, people don’t just hate you for being a pop star, so she must be a cock.

I still have nothing

I think this is the most detestable kid since that one from The Strain, who was just a more irritating, twelvie version of Carl from WD. I think Stranger Things has spoilt us with great child actors.

This ambience is a loop, I just heard it end and start again. Crickets giving the game away.

Oh yeah forgot the grandad was ill.

If they keep doing the POV monster I’m going to be forced to presume it’s just a perv with a camera attacking people, and that’s disappointing.

Put your eyebrows down grandad your freaking me out. (That’s in the film not real life, my grandad is not in the room).

Can we have a name for the deformed girl, it feels a bit horrendous that’s she’s just the deformed girl so far.

Those are tan lines, that may be drawn on, as they’re darker at the line than anywhere else.

Well furries was the last thing I expected to turn up here…

Kid Rock’s back, and he hates the disabled, probably like the real Kid Rock.

Is this a city? This looks more like a town, does it have a cathedral? Also this is going all Jaws, including the mayor refusing to stop people going in the water. (They even just acknowledged it)

This pop career thing is one of the strangest sub plots I’ve seen, rivals Night of the Bloody Apes wrestling plot.

The ambience loop is back, same one from last time.

That is not newsprint, that’s printer print.

That is a weirdly dark dining situation. I’ve seen more light in power cut scenes in films than round this dinner table, God’s sake.

Spam, yummy.

This lighting is really disparate between these angles.

Telling my depressing life story to school teachers is really what gets me going aswell…

Those are some seriously CGI Flies.

Oh it’s a Lovecraftian fish person, although I’m not sure if it was real, cus she woke up. (Post watch edit: this wasn’t cleared up, I’m none the wiser)

Dark Corners of the Earth
Yes! Another chance to reference Dark Corners of the Earth – Ed

This has cranked up out of nowhere. Told you the puppies were doomed. That kid went into the water for no reason, he’s doomed too.

That snail drawing has more detail than necessary. That’s not science fiction, that’s science FACT!!!!

Get fucked Kid Rock.

This guy has really sweaty nips, it’s a little strange.

Kid Rock just did the Age Of Barbarian face, it was so spot on.

Fish baby. It’s unnerving, I think cus it’s making proper baby noises, not monster noises, they’ve actually dealt with this fairly well I think, it’s made me a bit sad.

I wish the snails had Muppet Babies not parasite babies.

How many people in this town were pregnant? It’s only small and there are two babies born and one on the way. Wait is that another one, there really must be something in the water…

To be honest the little shit kid beating up the shitter kids with his rucksack was pretty cool.

Now she’s up the duff aswell, now I understand why she nobbed the teacher, because plot reasons.

Ew heck. Wait a minute is that dog wood panelled inside?

That transition…

Kid Rock is an effective scumbag I must say, that may be that he only turns up to be a scumbag and then disappears again.

Well that came out of nowhere.

This randomly got really dark.

It’s literally too dark to see the monster, I’m at full brightness and I can just see vague fur.

That kids very chill about multiple homicides.

How many shotgun shells does she have?

This dog/wolf monster is ripping off The Thing big time (Carpenter’s, not the big rock guy)

Has the kid got a cold in this scene? Most definitely, it’s how I’ve sounded all week.

Do people still fist bump? (Ed – Wait. I still do. Does that mean I’m no longer cool? My assistant Janice is supposed to keep me up to date with things like this. Janice? JANIIIICE? WHERE ARE YOU?)

The hats not part of the baby kiddo, it can’t be your favourite part.

Well that was a cheesy ass ending, but in a good way.

I’ll be honest I quite enjoyed that, it’s not going to win any Oscars anytime soon but I was never bored. I do think it’s an acquired taste, not being the most exciting, action packed film in the world, and not being that tense either. But I found the characters interesting enough and the make up effects were pretty decent once the more horror elements did kick in. I think as far as low budget debuts go, this was pretty good. I’ve certainly seen far far worse films (check out my Death Kiss review if you haven’t already). I think this has that thing of being made with enough care and passion for film that it buys it a lot of good will. I will say don’t watch it for any sort of environmental warning, you’ve seen it before. It feels like the sort of vague connection to current affairs a biology teacher would use to have a lesson off and leave students in front of a film, but that’s about it. Overall it’s a recommend from me, mainly for horror fans who won’t mind the obvious low budget and slower pace.