Ever had that feeling where you really, really wanted to love a film, but could only end up giving it a shrug of the shoulders and a ‘meh’?

That’s how I feel about Almost Human, a flick clearly made by genre fans for genre fans, with plenty of gore thrown in along the way.

But the truth is, while I was never bored, I was never truly excited either, and simply kept ticking off the list of filmic references along the way.

To be fair, the director Joe Begos happily rattles off the likes of Halloween, The Terminator and Xtro as influences himself in the Q&A bonus feature, and I’d probably throw in stuff like The Thing and The Hidden as well.

Almost Human wastes little time in getting started, with Seth Hampton (Graham Skipper) speeding to his friend Mark’s house, seemingly being chased by a strange blue light – or so he says.

Naturally Mark (Josh Ethier) thinks his pal has been on the whacky-baccy, but, sure enough, the light appears over the house, swallowing up Mark in the process.

Even though Mark’s girlfriend Jen (Vanessa Leigh) is there at the time and sees what happens, for some reason Seth comes under suspicion for his friend’s disappearance, leaving him to become a bit of a recluse and shut himself off from the world.

 

All that changes though two years later, when more strange blue lights in the same area herald the return of Mark – naked and looking the worse for wear no less.

But, with a string of bloody murders hastily under his belt, it becomes pretty clear that the Mark that has returned is a very different beast to the Mark of old, and that Seth and Jen must unite to save the day…..

As stated at the outset, there are plenty of reasons to like Almost Human – there is impressive gore aplenty, the story rattles along at quite a pace, and there is a nice ‘old school’ vibe (the film is set in 1987 at first).

Added to that is the fact that Begos shows off some skills with the camera, with a number of well-handled set-pieces and inventive camerawork.

But on the downside the acting is pretty poor, the dialogue ropy and the grime of ‘I’ve seen all this before’ is pretty difficult to wash off.

Films that borrow heavily on previous flicks are no bad thing, and that is the case again here, but that lack of originality is what plonks Almost Human in the so-so, rather than must-watch, category.

 

VERDICT: [rating=3]

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.