Aberration (1997)

directed by tim boxell
grundy films/victor film company

A tale of Nature Gone Horribly Wrong, this likable B-movie set in America but filmed in New Zealand proudly blares its very ’90s soundtrack whenever possible. But after dispensing with its Meet Cute (well, sort of; it involves both a dead engine and a dead pet), this chipper horror comedy rather quickly started reminding me of the legendary cult favorite Tremors. Then a completely unexpected detour occurs, and although it’s short and ultimately slight, the film never seems to regain its bearings. From that point onward, the action escalates, things keep exploding, and the characters, finding themselves in one impossible situation after another, seem to devolve as the creatures they’re battling keep rapidly adapting. Maybe that’s supposed to be a parallel. Or a paradox. Whatever it is, it becomes difficult to tell what the producers wished to achieve. Unless it was to remind one of Tremors. It ends abruptly.

why did i watch this movie?

This may sound familiar, but I couldn’t tell from the description whether I’d already seen it. Or maybe I was conflating the title with that of Unnatural.

should you watch this movie?

In some ways, this film far exceeds its potential, but on the other hand it also fails to meet it. Ultimately, it’s just not quite enough.

highlight and low point

They did a good job with using the creatures effectively, not overexposing them, although I’m fairly certain they used the exact same shots more than once. Splatter and gore also is handled deftly. The humor doesn’t always connect, however, and the hints of romance feel forced if not incongruous. At the same time, you expect more of any or all of these factors. Something went wrong in their calculus.

rating from outer space: c

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