05th Oct2014

‘The Search for Simon’ Review

by Nicky Johnson

Stars: Martin Gooch, Noeleen Comiskey, Sophie Aldred, Julian Bastida, Simon Birks, Jen Brown, Brooke Burfitt, Lucy Clements, Carol Cleveland, Emma Cornell, Joe Dutch | Written by Martin Gooch, Simon Birks | Directed by Martin Gooch

TheSearchForSimon-DVD

David Jones (Martin Gooch) is a man with a mission; to find his brother, Simon, who was abducted by aliens nearly 30 years ago. Fed tips about UFOs by an American ‘ufologist’ AlienFromArcturas in exchange for cash, David travels in search of UFOs to places like Denmark and Utah, or wherever his tips take him. Unfortunately, they tend not to lead to anything, and while his obsession alienates his friends at home, he meets and befriends psychiatrist/author Eloise Eldritch (Noeleen Comiskey) and Angela (Sophie Aldred) and soon remembers more about Simon’s disappearance than what his dad told him as a child.

I’ll be honest, the opening 5 minutes of The Search For Simon made me audibly groan. I knew nothing about the film other than it’s plot description on IMDB, nothing about Martin Gooch other than his name reminds me of Jackass, and I’m immediately confronted with the cheapest soundtrack possible and what looks like a film shot on a handycam with no colour correction. I wrote the words ‘immediately unsure if this is meant to be awful’ and ‘UGH SUPER LOW BUDGET’ in my notebook, threw it down, and resigned myself to an hour and a half of soul destroying crap sipping coffee in my Desperate Dan mug.

Imagine my surprise, then, when at the end I was actually smiling and enjoying myself. The production quality didn’t exactly improve (cheap CGI was cheap) but suddenly I’m faced with a strong story, fairly good acting, classic sci-fi and nerd references (‘the cake is a lie’), and actual humour. Not only that, there were deep and emotional moments and realisations, and an actual charm about the whole thing. Sure, there were moments where I groaned and one moment where I facepalmed without realising I had my glasses on still which caused me to smack my own eye, but overall I actually enjoyed the film.

Should you watch The Search For Simon? Almost definitely. I won’t say it isn’t a slog to get past the low production quality to start with but the fun you’ll have watching it more than makes up for it, especially if you’re the type to watch The Picard Song on loop or enjoy low budget films. However, if you prefer your sci-fi to have lens flare galore or actual aliens, you’ll be best off going to watch something a bit more polished. Just not Ender’s Game. Just don’t do that to yourself.

The Search For Simon is released on DVD on October 13th

**** 4/5

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