I don’t know if you heard this one before: A group of American tourists go to a South American country to party and thru some local person they hear about a secluded place deep in the jungle that is supposed to be great, but now the access to it is forbidden/restricted due rumors of people going missing and even reports of some fantastical creature that nobody has seen, but is believed to be roaming said region (In this case “The Chupacabras”). Do you feel like stop reading yet? WAIT! This film is actually worth seeing! Please, continue…
At first look, by the simple synopsis it would seems “Indigenous” is another run-of-the-mill film that we have watched over and over, with annoying characters and even following the (now) overused “Found Footage” format, more specifically: A film where we have to spend about an hour of the story where pretty much nothing happens, enduring a lot of shots that seems to be made by a drunken monkey, to see all the action (that mostly was seen on the trailer) on the last 15 minutes and using a “Shocking” (Most often than not, predictable) twist at the end.
Rejoice, my friends! This is NOT one of those!
Although “Indigenous” is not a film that will revolutionize the way movies are made, I liked it, and I thought was a very fun film. It gives a very entertaining story, well paced, shot on the traditional style, and although it has some of the clichés we know and love/hate, this film is worth seeing. To begin with, is NOT A FOUND FOOTAGE FILM, also there is a lot of action during the story (Not only at the last 10-15 minutes) the characters are not totally annoying (you’ll need some patience with one, though) the acting is more than ok, and SPOILER AHEAD: The creature is gradually presented to us, little by little, and in a manner that I found very effective, with good special effects (I believe most of them practical). If this film had been released on the earlier years of the millennium, it would have gained more than a moderate success.
Another of the details that I liked on this film, was the use of actors that I’m pretty sure are actually natives from Panamá, since their dialogues in Spanish felt very natural and it kept me ON the story (and also helped with the ending, which was another good point of the movie), while normally on this type of films when I see characters that are supposed to be “Locals” are in fact portrayed by actors that clearly have ENGLISH as their native language, and when they do their Spanish lines they sound all broken and with a tick foreign accent (as a tourist themselves, even). That is an issue that even takes me out of the movie sometimes. Kudos, guys, you get an extra point for going the extra mile there!
Something I need to complain about though, is that there were several scenes where the camera won’t stop shaking, even in shots that were supposed to be steady; it was something that started to annoy me after a while. Even if an actor is running through the jungle, it doesn’t mean the audience can’t get a clear steady vision, or needs to get dizzy, want an example? See “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Tip for the director and his creative team: Invest in a Tripod; the tripod is your friend… Use it.
Another thing that kind of bothered me, was that the story is set in Panamá and the featured creature “El Chupacabras” (The Goat Sucker) as far as I can remember, was a creature “Discovered” in Mexico around the middle in the 90’s COINCIDENTALY in a time of political and economical turmoil in the country, just after the assassination of presidential candidate Donaldo Colosio and the subsequent elections, which is why a lot of people, myself included, think the whole “Chupacabras” thing was nothing more than a Smoke screen created by the government-controlled media (This was PRE INTERNET times, people) to distract the people from the chaos that was going in on. After a exhaustive 5-minute search in Google, I saw that the first “reported” sighting of the “Chupacabras” was done on Puerto Rico in 1995… This might be totally irrelevant to the film and the enjoyment of seeing it, but I needed it to get it out of my chest…
In conclusion: “Indigenous” is a fun film, with a story we have seen too many times, but in this case, is well paced, it has a good eerie atmosphere that will give you a couple genuine scares without going for the cheap shots we already grown tired of, and it has a very plausible ending that I have not seen too often, so give this film a watch, in my opinion is worth it.
“Indigenous” will be released on VOD on December 8th and was directed by Alastair Orr, written by Max Roberts with Zachary Soetenga, Lindsey McKeon, Sofia Pernas, Pierson Fode, Jamie Anderson, Juanxo Villaverde and Laura Penuela on the cast.
Here is a link to the trailer so you can check it out, but I’d suggest you NOT to watch it, since it shows in my opinion too much of the creature. Proceed with caution and let me know what you think of the film if you see it.
Keep it scary and keep it cool!