The Similars (Los Parecidos) (2016) [REVIEW]

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Listen, you can make fun of me all you want, but I haven’t seen México Bárbaro yet. Guys, I said you can make fun of me, I don’t care what you say, I’m in on the joke. Point is, I wasn’t super familiar with writer/director Isaac Ezban‘s work, other than knowing he contributed to that anthology, which I’d heard decent things about. The description definitely piqued my interest, so I was like, yeah, I can watch this movie! I’m a guy who likes movie and this is one of them! Okay, now you can make fun of me for how dull this intro is, and I get to be in on that joke also.

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More like “Goodnight Daddy,” am I right!?

It’s 1968, we’re in a bus station, and a bearded man is just trying to catch a bus to get to his wife who just began labor outside the city. Due to a terrible thunderstorm, there are delays and cancellations and no sign of when he can leave. The longer he’s there, the more hopeful travelers join him, all with their own desperate reasons to catch the bus. As the radio starts delivering strange news broadcasts and the manager of the bus station becomes ill, the travelers begin to get nervous and paranoid about what’s going on. When the supervisor starts to “recover” but has undergone a peculiar transformation, the travelers have no goddamn idea what’s going on, how it could happen, or how to stop it. That’s all I’m gonna say, because the bizarre twists and turns are absolutely what make this film so enjoyable.

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This kid was the only one to realize the true threat was on the ceiling the whole time.

This movie was good! The film started like an episode of The Twilight Zone, from the opening narration of some off-screen figure and faux film grain, and every time the story would run out of steam, a strange twist would invigorate everything. I’d say that each act on its own could count as an installment on the show, and Ezban blended them all together seamlessly. Again, I don’t want to take away from any of the twists, but they were just bizarre enough to have a more science fiction/surreal quality to them than a horrific one, but also hokey enough that the film didn’t need to take itself too seriously. The computerized black and white look and all the fake film grain stuff that was meant to evoke nostalgia got pretty grating at times, but I understand that they were good cheats to make the concept more effective. Had the film been shot in color or on 35mm, it wouldn’t have put the viewer in the appropriate state of mind for the unique state of mind necessary and the melding of both comedy and sci-fi. In short, The Similars (a title which will make sense once you see the movie) is the best feature-length episode of The Twilight Zone you’ll see this year.

Wolfman Moon Scale

three quarters moon

IMDb

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