Movie Review: Assimilate

Assimilate (2019) – Review | Sci-Fi Horror on Netflix | Heaven of Horror

credit: Assimilate

Ever since the idea of replacing people with copies that are aliens or something else came along as a part of cinema, the topic has been a big deal with a lot of fans since it is kind of a creepy notion that anyone could be replaced at any given time in a horror movie. The idea in this feature appears to be that an unknown creature can affect a change in people after biting them. While the small town that the main characters live in isn’t all that interesting, there is a buildup to this movie that makes one wonder just how ironic that statement might be since, as the feature moves forward, one easily gets the idea of why that might be, especially since the story begins before the actual movie gets going. This type of story sets itself up in a way that makes the audience think that it could very easily turn into something like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or something similar. To be fair, it’s not too far off the mark. Of course, that’s one of the reasons why it’s entertaining but not exactly a blockbuster. 

REVIEW: Assimilate (2021) - JumpCut Online

credit: Assimilate

It’s more or less another pod-person movie that does its own thing or tries to. 

The lack of emotion seen on the faces of the copies and the way they act is reminiscent of a lot of movies that have tried to do this, which indicates that they’ve replaced the originals and have initiated a takeover of the area they’re in. That is how things tend to happen, after all, so it’s not much of a surprise in this movie when things start leaning this way as the town’s pastor, then the parents of the main characters start acting out of sorts. But the speed with which this happens almost feels as though it’s a little too quick since stretching things out a little further would have been a little easier to take. But as it stands, this movie is still fairly creepy since not knowing whether a person can trust someone they’ve known all their lives is a disquieting development. 

The method of body snatching is kind of eerie. 

Watching how the process works is a bit, well, strange, since it brings to mind a few different movies such as the many pod-person flicks and even Species, even though the premises are quite a bit different. Much like any other movie that has to deal with replacing real people with copies, though, this story has its moments when the correlation between the older stories comes into play. It’s almost as though the writers for this movie went ahead and copied and pasted a few very common ideas and tweaked them just enough to produce something that people might not fully recognize until they started watching it. Some might say that this makes the movie an unforgivable and cheap copy, but the fact is that the cinematography is done well enough to appease the audience, but the overall story is a little too familiar and comes off feeling like a genuine ripoff of many other tales that have come before. 

Assimilate (horror movie trailer): all your bodies are ours. : SFcrowsnest

credit: Assimilate

The strange howling that the copies do is for communication, but it’s still kind of unique to this movie. 

The actual call is creepy as hell and is something that’s been done before, but the way the copies do this, by distending their jaw or stretching it, or however one wants to explain it, is even scarier since it creates a seriously terrifying image that could be the only thing that gives the audience nightmares afterward. Apart from that, this movie is a little bland and doesn’t really end up doing much in the way of delivering the needed chills to make it worth much of anything. From the constantly doubting townsfolk and the idea that the two main characters are going to be the last two standing, this movie is one giant copy of several others that doesn’t come off as its own idea save for the few differences it manages to create. The story isn’t terrible, but the acting does leave something to be desired. 

Body-snatching movies are kind of a tough sell unless there’s something different about them. 

A lot of sub-genres are tough to sell to the public since they need to have an edge that keeps them from being compared to so many other movies. In this case, there wasn’t enough difference between this movie and so many others when it came to the delivery and method of replacing the original people with the copies. That alone was enough to discount this entire feature since this kind of idea has been seen so many times that trying to look at it as completely original wasn’t possible. 

Sometimes an original idea goes a long way. 

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