• Name: Assimilate
• Year: 2019
• Country: USA
• Director: John Murlowski
• Main cast: Joel Courtney, Calum Worthy, Andi Matichak
• Runtime: 93 minutes
• Production company: Boy Meets Girl Productions, Sprockefeller Pictures, Maple Island Films
When I saw the synopsis for Assimilate (2019), which read “three friends making a web series about their town discover that their neighbors are being killed and replaced by creatures who are perfect copies of their victims”, I thought “hmmm… this sounds a lot like a Body Snatchers flick”. Still, I thought why not to give it a try, since I saw it recommended in the list of home video releases of this summer. Too bad my first fears were true, and besides an innovative start point on the paper the movie is pretty much another lame copycat lacking ideas.
If there is something positive to outstand from Assimilate (2019) it should be the early scenario idea. Two kids are vloggers starring their videos series filming how empty, boring and inconsequential is their life, their every day and their future in a small middle-class town in on of those locations in the USA nobody heard or cared about. The idea could have some potential as an interesting set-up for a horror and science-fiction movie, but the filmmakers waste their chance delivering a collection of unsubstantial shots and a very hollow screenplay. It’s like the mediocrity of the village takes over the movie cast and crew. After a few minutes one can see this movie is not going to bring anything to remember, anything to outstand from any other straight to video production.
Assimilate (2019) is starred by a trio of actors who are starting to sneak their faces in the genre film industry. Joel Courtney was the star of Super 8 (2011), Calum Worthy has starred in over 50 television and film jobs despite his young age, and Andi Matichak was seen last year co-starring David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) as Allyson, Laurie Strode‘s granddaughter. But they can’t do anything to salvage this movie, cursed to sink since the very first minute.
The script, written by director John Murlowski and Steven Palmer Peterson, is very lame and filled with all the cliches in the genre that you could think of. The climax of the film is taken almost literally from the original film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and its masterpiece sequel Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978). In fact, regarding other Body Snatchers films, Assimilate (2019) is much worse than other “not so good” remakes like that Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig’s mess The Invasion (2007), or Abel Ferrara’s Body Snatchers (1993). Although let’s not be cruel, it is still a little bit better than Invasion of the Pod People (2007).
To summarize, Assimilate (2019) is another title in the wide list of unsubstantial horror and science-fiction movies we get insight, with the difference and curiosity that it is a Body Snatchers flick. The story, acting, directing, cinematography and editing are not worth enough as a good reason to go check out this movie. But, still, it is entertaining enough for a boring evening when there is nothing better to watch. It is not as painful as other mediocre genre titles, but still it’s not worth by itself.
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