*Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.*
Snatchers is an interesting film that finds a comfortable spot in the fertile ground of the teen horror comedy genre. While at times uneven, this inspired hybrid succeeds more often than not thanks to a classic 80s style horror approach and winning performances.
Sara (Mary Nepi) is stoked about her senior year and after ascending to the cool girls’ table she’s all set for a legendary end to high school. She’s even ready to go all the way with her jock boyfriend Skyler (Austin Fryberger). And that’s when things get ridiculous in the most laughable way possible. Random question: is there a comedy that doesn’t have a guy orgasm in 30 seconds?
Skyler’s pull out method leaves a lot to be desired and Sara wakes up the next morning ready to deliver a baby. Clearly the morning after pill won’t be of much use here. Completely panicked, Sara doubts her mother, Kate (J.J. Nolan), will be all that understanding and seeks comfort from her ex-BFF Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse).
Sara needs some help as her little bundle of joy is a pint-sized alien that seizes control of its victims to carry out its murder spree. Over the course of a very hectic night Sara and Hayley try to stay alive long enough to figure out a way to stop the alien invasion.
Directors/co-writers Stephen Cedars and Benji Kleiman with co-writer Scott Yacyshyn craft a fun comedy. The dialogue is sharp and captures the self-absorbed nature of teenagers just right. Nepi and Elyse play off each other incredibly well and make for credible former friends forced to come together for the most insane of situations.
Just as important, they have a solid handle on the sci-fi horror side as well. The gore is sudden, shocking and unflinching. For the most part the extreme violence is played more for laughs instead of scares and it’s an effective approach for the film. While the blood spray is excessive, the creature design doesn’t look cheap.
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Cedars and Kleiman occasionally struggle with the pacing. Some of that is due to how quickly Snatchers flips from a standard teen comedy to a gory horror film. Given its length, they could have opted for a bit more of a slow burn. Initially, Snatchers debuted as a short-form series before being packaged as a feature film and there are obvious moments where the original format is clear.
The start and stop pacing works fine in a serial, but it results in a weird mix of scenes that play out too quickly while others drag out. Considering the amount of characters that get introduced, it would have been nice for some measure of development instead of debuting for one purpose and quickly getting killed off afterwards.
Snatchers probably could have been a little tighter and efficient with some scenes, but overall it makes good on its premise and delivers a fun way to spend a slow afternoon.
Rating: 7 out of 10
The Birth of Snatchers: A Behind the Scenes Look (14:21)
Cedars, Kleiman and Yacyshyn have fun chemistry and bounce off each other well enough to make for a fun feature
Unexpected: The Snatchers Blooper Reel (3.37)
Your standard look at random outtakes and mishaps during shooting.
Commentary with the Creators of Snatchers
The directors and writers share some behind the scenes stories. Thankfully, the trio are entertaining so it doesn’t feel forced or dull.