“Almost Human,” a gratuitiously gory alien riff with its heart squarely in the 1980s, premieres on VOD today. The film did a great job grossing audiences out at last year’s Fantastic Fest, and writer/director Joe Begos brings a retro eye to his unnerving alien abduction story.
The film opens with Mark (Josh Ethier) disappearing under strange circumstances as his best friend Seth (Graham Skipper) and girlfriend Jen (Vanessa Leigh) are incapacitated inside. Two years later, no one’s really sure what happened to Mark, which makes his reappearance an awkward moment for Jen, who’s moved on, and a terrifying one for Seth, who realizes that something isn’t right with his friend
Begos, making his feature debut here, conveys a charming DIY vibe that carries “Almost Human”’s thin story. While the film occasionally struggles to build momentum, convincing performances from Texas native Graham Skipper and the surprisingly charismatic Josh Ethier help sell the many improbable or ill-explained moments of the story. Clocking in at a breezy 80 minutes, “Almost Human” relies on its impressive special effects to leave an impression, and there are plenty of gross, memorable moments throughout the film. Begos admirably blends sci-fi concepts with slasher-film levels of bloodshed, and viewers looking for a cheesy, retro slice of visceral fun will find plenty to like in “Almost Human.”