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Film Review: Snatchers (2019)

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SYNOPSIS:

After status-obsessed teen Sara has sex for the first time, she wakes up the next day nine months pregnant-with an alien.

REVIEW:

“Warner Bros has provided us with a free copy of Snatchers, I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own”

The full feature release of Snatchers in 2019 at SXSW spawned from a series of short online releases. However, the movie written and directed by Stephen Cedars and Benji Kleiman, flows in a way that does not alert you this was ever anything else than a full-length feature film. Snatchers is a horror-comedy that delivers the ultimate PSA when a status hungry teen named Sara (Mary Nepi) finds herself pregnant after her first sexual encounter. She discovers she is carrying two alien babies as the result of something her boyfriend caught in Mexico. Snatchers has its share of laugh out loud comedic one-liners and a significant amount of gore, but there is not too much in this movie I find genuinely scary and the ending was a bit of a disappointment.

Snatchers first introduces us to Sara, a typical high school teen who is much too obsessed with her newfound social status among the popular crowd and lacking a lot of introspection. She has quickly kicked her old, “nerdy” friend Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse) to the curb in favor of a bunch of “mean girls” with little substance and a lot of ego. Sara has yet to lose her virginity with her boyfriend Skyler (Austin Fryberger) and after he returns from Mexico, he makes it clear that no sex equals the end of their tenuous relationship. Not wanting to lose Skyler, Sara decides to do the deed with him in a sex scene that could serve as a form of birth control for young adults. The scene portrays sex as an activity that only brings pleasure to males. Also, weirdly enough, in this case it also causes Skyler serious physical pain. We get a pretty good idea at this point that Skyler is major self-involved d-bag and Sara is a completely blind to this fact.

The next day Sara starts to show signs of pregnancy through her impressive Exorcist style vomiting in the school hall and some not-so-subtle mood swings. Not too much later Sara wakes up nine months pregnant and seeks the help of her old bestie Hayley. They quickly make their way to an abortion clinic where Sara gives birth to a monstrous crab like alien creature. It literally shoots out of her in one quick push and decapitates the doctor in spectacularly bloody fashion. It then attaches itself to a man’s head, clamping onto his neck through his spinal cord and thereby controlling him. Attaching itself to a human head turns out to be the monster’s preferred method of transportation throughout the film.

Sara and Hayley escape, but eventually are tracked by the police and brought in for questioning. Sara still looks very pregnant as she comes to find out she is carrying a second alien monster she has yet to give birth to. Sara’s mom meets her at the police station and Sara tries her best to tell her the truth, but instead mom goes into a lecture about how hard it is to be a young mom and how disappointed she is. In search of his alien buddy and Sara, the alien monster shows up at the station and slaughters all but one of the police officers. Sara ends up giving birth to the other alien monster and Sara’s mom is taken captive by the alien.

The next scene brings us to Skyler’s house where Hayley has taken Sara to rest and figure out what their next steps are. Skyler’s behavior is predictable and after Sara refuses Skyler’s advances he ditches them in search of another girl to soothe his out of control sexual urges. They soon find out that Sklyer was infected with something in Mexico and he has a drive to spread his seed in order to create more crab alien monsters. Sara and Hayley decide they need to put a stop to it, to save the world, and save Sara’s mom. They track Sklyer down at a party hooking up with one of Sara’s friends. Sara stops him before he can finish the deed and impregnate another girl with an alien crab monster. Still in search of Sara, one of the monsters crashes the party, killing teens and causing chaos in its wake. Sara traps it in a blender and in pure Gremlins style purees the monster into oblivion.

The movie rushes to a conclusion with Sara finding and rescuing her mom from the basement of a local store where the other, much larger, alien crab monster has been keeping her captive. Sara kills the monster by throwing a bottle of labor-inducing serum into its mouth, which somehow explodes the alien monster into bits. The credits roll, but the final scene shows Skyler tied up in the back of a black car with what looks like two agents straight out of Men in Black.

Snatchers was meant to be a horror-comedy, but aside from copious amounts of gore and some serious gross out moments, there wasn’t really any point in the movie where I felt genuinely afraid. Some may argue that this is the nature of the horror-comedy, but I can think of several tense and frightening moments in other horror-comedy flicks, such as Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. Snatchers had more of a Scifi feel to it and there were genuinely funny scenes and dialogue.

Some of the situations that happen to Sara and Hayley are so ridiculous and far-fetched that you really must suspend all logic, but this is also what adds to the comedic value of the film. My main complaint is the ending of the film was really rushed and the defeat of the giant alien monster was a major reach, even for a horror-comedy. Overall, I enjoyed watching it and it was an entertaining way to spend 90 minutes of my Saturday night. It’s not a movie I would bother re-watching, but I would be interested to see what directors Cedars and Kleiman come up with next.

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