09th Apr2021

‘Embryo’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Romina Perazzo, Domingo Guzmán, Carolina Escobar, Cristian Cuentrejoa, Evelyn Belmar, Paulina Facuse, Yuri Caceres, Giordano Rossi, Serge François | Written by Patricio Valladares, Barry Keating | Directed by Patricio Valladares

The synopsis for Embryo only really explains a hint of the film even if it seems to give away quite a lot. It explains that the movie follows a couple who while camping are abducted by aliens and woman, Evelyn is impregnated. Since that abduction she is having cravings for human flesh.

But this isn’t the only story in Embryo, a film that is some kind of strange anthology as we see a couple of other creepy tales that all link together eventually. Not only this but it’s a mix of sub genre that all umbrella under the same horror/sci-fi link. We see found footage, news stories, a normally shot film and even snuff film-like moments and if that sounds a bit all over the place, that’s because it is. I believe this is the director and film-makers intention. The style is all theirs. It’s frantic and hectic, sometimes going from one scene to another with no obvious connection and jumping from found footage to a more normal style without explanation. It almost feels a bit experimental at times but it doesn’t always work in terms of being entertaining. I like this kind of film generally and its originality but some times this felt a bit too amateur.

There are some positives though. I really liked the one story that was centered around someone’s house coming under attack by strange tentacle-covered creatures. It’s shot on a hand-held camera and you really feel like you are there with the family. The low budget doesn’t hinder it at all, if anything it all seems more real because of it and I got a real (M. Night Shylaman’s) Signs-vibe from it. Unfortunately one of the other stories is almost instantly forgettable, coming and going extremely quickly but being briefly mentioned in the movies conclusion. Although the alien abduction does at least stay enjoyable for the most part. Like an odd zombie movie with an over-reliant practical effect on intestines.

Inexperienced actress Romina Perazzo does a good job in the lead role. A silent zombie-like character isn’t always easy to play but she manages to show plenty of emotion even if it’s in her soulless, drained look. Performances by the rest of the cast are solid, with the hand-held style helping the realism, while the news stories actually all look as professional as they should.

Maybe Embryo might have been better if it had gone down a more traditional horror anthology route but it would have been a very different movie and not the movie I suspect the director would have wanted. As it is, at seventy two minutes long it does not overstay its welcome, instead feeling like a movie with some good ideas but unsure how to blend them altogether. Or maybe one idea (the alien abduction) which they tried to stretch out for much longer than they should.

Embryo is out now digitally from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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