Embryo Movie Review
Written by Ryan Holloway
Directed by Patricio Valladares
Patricio Valladares and Barry Keating
2020, 72 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
Frightfest, World Premiere, Saturday 24th October
Romina Perazzo as Evelyn
Domingo Guzmán as Kevin
Carolina Escobar as Camilla
Cristian Cuentrejo as Policia Jorquere
Luis Vitalino Grandón as Doctor
Chilean director Patricio Valladares, best known for Nightworld (2017), starring Robert Englund, serves up something a little less glossy this time around with a film that splices three separate alien-abduction stories together with a found-footage aesthetic.
Involving alien insemination and cannibalism, the first tale introduces us to Evelyn (Perazzo) and her boyfriend Kevin (Guzmán) who, during a camping trip, have their world completely turned upside down when Evelyn goes missing in the woods, only to be found naked and covered in what we can only surmise is alien semen.
As if that wasn’t gross enough, while looking for help, she eats any would-be heroes to feed her unborn alien bastard, leaving blood and guts everywhere. Well, we think they’re guts, either that or someone has spilt their stir-fry everywhere.
While this all plays out, the story cuts to a filmmaker who is planning to film a magician and his female companion, but things go very wrong resulting in some unnecessary nakedness and writhing about. Some imagination needed for this one I think, or maybe not.
The final mystery is a cut together story of a couple and their young daughter who has been bringing about the attention of unknown and tentacled strangers who plan to take her to, well, wherever they’re from.
The thing that knits it all together is a cop (Cuentrejo) who seems to have an invested interest in these cases (at least someone has).
Most of the performances are pretty sound, particularly Perazzo as Evelyn, the poor alien-jizz-soaked woman from the main story, and the ideas are solid too with a few moments that certainly get the nerves jangling, but the problem with Embryo is that we never really get enough time with any of the characters to either care or understand what is going on.
It all feels a little too much like Valladares and writer Barry Keating have looked through old episodes of The X-Files and chosen a few bits they liked. The end result feels more like a 90s student film that has just about scraped a passing grade than a film destined to stand out in a crowded sci-fi market.
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