Pod (2015)

directed by mickey keating
Alexander groupe/high window films/illium pictures

The second feature from director Keating following 2013’s Ritual, this science-fiction hybrid feels like a more fully realized affair. Though it seems to borrow heavily from various sources, it’s as homage rather than imitation – albeit as noted, the ultimate effect is somewhat to resemble The X-Files. Getting all the way to that point, however, is more than half the fun here, as the story’s slow buildup focuses on some familial dynamics, and only in exploiting the well-meaning dismissiveness exhibited toward one sibling by his brother and sister are the realities of their situation revealed. One thing this watcher found exemplary – which other reviewers seem to think a major drawback – is the novel approach taken to fleshing out the details behind the discoveries: None. No explanation is given, no tidy synopsis offered; it’s up to the audience. Personally, I thought this gambit worked perfectly, given the subject matter. The denouement unspools in stages, some of which are surprising (not SHOCKING) and some of which are business as usual. (The makers of Antibirth must have been taking notes, however.)

why did i watch this movie?

I thought 2013’s Ritual was interesting enough an attempt to investigate the director’s successive offerings.

should you watch this movie?

With the understanding that it’s not going to blow the doors off with originality, it’s a good time, replete with suspense, enough frights, and plenty to nettle the squeamish.

highlight and low point

The moments when it dawns on the brother-and-sister tandem that their other brother wasn’t dissembling, delusional or dipsomaniacal are perhaps a tad de rigueur for this type of picture, but it’s a carefully controlled exposition and the payoff is welcome. The ending feels a bit shopworn.

rating from outer space: B−

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