Sunday, 4 March 2012

Decoys (2004)

Decoys is a fun movie that's well worth checking out if you've never heard of it before. It's like a cross between The Faculty and Species. In fact, it's REALLY like a cross between those two movies. The school setting, and the fact that one of the male leads looks so much like Elijah Wood that they mention it in the script, and the aliens trying to secretly take over people will remind you of the former while the fact that the aliens are really cute girls who don't seem to have an aversion to nudity will remind all red-blooded males of the greatness of the latter.

The plot is really simplicity itself. A young man (Luke, played by Corey Sevier) wonders just what he is seeing when he spies a couple of gorgeous young women (Stefanie von Pfetten and Kim Poirier) revealing themselves to be something more than your standard human being. They are, in fact, aliens who just love to keep themselves in tip top condition by enjoying cold temperatures and warm potential mates. Luke fails to convince anyone else of this (including his good friend Roger, played by Elias Toufexis AKA the guy that looks like Elijah Wood) and just seems to get himself in trouble while he keeps trying to alert everyone to the situation. Meanwhile, young men keep disappearing and the woman look like they have new men in their sights, including Roger. Just how long can any hetero male defend himself against such obvious charms?

Decoys suffers slightly because of the unoriginality factor but it compensates for this with a sense of fun and some nicely unexpected moments that try to balance out the jump scares and more obvious plot twists. Matthew Hastings directs, and co-wrote the movie with Tom Berry, and he gets a lot of things just right. Night Of The Creeps would certainly seem to be another influence, no bad thing, and this is at the forefront when we see the friendship between Luke and Roger and also when we see Luke being treated like a murder suspect by Detective Francis Kirk (Richard Burgi). There's a mix of humour throughout that doesn't always work but improves when the film gets into the second half and picks up a gear.

The cast aren't the greatest actors ever but Corey Sevier, Elias Toufexis, Richard Burgi, Meghan Ohry, Ennis Esmer and Nicole Eggert all do well enough while Stefanie von Pfetten and Kim Poirier easily portray alien females so sexy that they could find a number of men willing to be led away to isolated locations. Krista Morin, Carrie Colak, Marc Trottier and Sarah Smyth all provide decent support.

It's no modern classic, and it doesn't measure up to any of the other titles mentioned within this review, but Decoys is enjoyable enough and actually a lot better than 1001 other titles that have been given the DTD* treatment.

(*Is it Direct To Disc now that videos aren't the standard rental format?? Or maybe Straight To Disc could let us label them all as STDs)