POD (2015) Horror Movie Review


“POD,” a film directed by Mickey Keating, is a gripping narrative that intertwines family drama with elements of science fiction and horror. The movie, which premiered at South by Southwest in 2015, follows siblings Lyla and Ed as they stage an intervention for their brother Martin, a veteran whose mental stability is in question. The setting, a family cabin in the woods of Maine, becomes the stage for a chilling exploration of paranoia, government conspiracy, and the unknown.

The film’s title, “POD,” is a nod to classic horror films of the 1970s, such as the 1978 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” and it carries with it an air of nostalgia for the genre. Keating’s writing is influenced by “The Twilight Zone,” and this is evident in the film’s ability to maintain a sense of eerie suspense throughout its runtime.

Lauren Ashley Carter, Dean Cates, and Brian Morvant deliver compelling performances that capture the viewer’s attention. Carter and Cates, playing the concerned siblings, portray a believable dynamic that grounds the film in reality, even as the narrative spirals into the realm of the fantastic. Morvant’s portrayal of Martin is particularly noteworthy, as he convincingly depicts the character’s descent into what appears to be paranoid psychosis.

Critics have noted that “POD” uses its micro-budget effectively, creating an atmosphere filled with uncertainty and real emotional stakes, akin to a lost episode of “The X-Files.” Despite some uneven performances, the film rises above these to deliver a story that is both engaging and unsettling.

The cinematography, by Mac Fisken, captures the bleak and isolating winter landscape of Maine, which adds to the film’s tense atmosphere. The music by Giona Ostinelli further enhances the mood, underlining the film’s suspenseful and ominous tone.

“POD” may not break new ground in the horror genre, but it is a testament to the effectiveness of low-budget filmmaking. It’s a smart, gripping chiller that delivers on its promise to thrill fans of horror. The film’s ability to find tension in the familiar setting of a cabin in the woods is a credit to Keating’s direction and the cast’s performances.

In the Nutshell

“POD” is a well-crafted piece of horror cinema that successfully pays homage to the genre’s classics while carving out its own identity. It’s a film that will likely appeal to those who appreciate a slow-burn thriller that builds to a harrowing climax. For those looking for a movie that combines family drama with sci-fi and horror elements, “POD” is a film worth watching. I give 4 out of 5 stars.

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Genre:  Sci-fi Mystery

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