Indigenous (2014) – By Baron Craze


Alistair Orr’s Indigenous begins, as many modern creature-features do, with a group of young tourists venturing into the jungles of Darien Gap a foreign country Panama, a real place and actually shot on location, needless that helps to sell the pending terror. The film adds in the elements of b-movie fare but, sluggish at best, as humor fades away quickly and never truly pads the dialogue; however one learns why it occurs with a little bit of research. One major blessing for the movie, it is not another found-footage creation, even though a few stills on the net, implied this, rather a narrative storyline, which accelerates the horror halfway through the flick, with moderate intrigue.

Sadly, for the tourism trade, South America, still ranks as the worst location to visit, per the tales of many horror films, and it appears Europe follows a close second. Since, Mexico, Latin and South America provide overwhelming dangerous spiders; parasitic bugs; Aztec temples; endless lost tribes of cannibal killers, a few zombies, and a few dozen vampires for good measure, shows the support for ranking horror pleasure. A side note to the United States of America finds climbing the ladder of torturous vacation destinations with true insane serial killers versus paranormal fiends and demonic possessions. Needless, when one can use the real location it does help, as with real estate’s rule location, location, location, sells the story, no different especially with an exotic locales. The vibrant colors, the richness of pristine beaches, beautiful sunshine, the magic of the rainforests, and some of the most male and female trim and buff bodies of that of course anyone could relate easily too. However, any horror fan knows that that the beautiful people bleed the same as everyone else, and sometimes with even more gushing style points. Herein, the viewer already has the problem of lack of care for these five individuals, their lives of graduating students entering into a perfect world of their design, sheds no interest, no one to route for in any manner. Therefore, the story surrounds two couples, an extra individual, and few locals, including a very charming Carmen (Laura Penuela) all enjoying each other, the surf, and endless drinks told about an off-limits wellspring with powerful powers, private in the region and forgotten to time. What else does this mean but to engage in last-ditch effort of youth, before becoming a slave to adulthood, and of course the actual reason of this horror movie, going to an unknown location, barred by the government to bask in the purities of the water. The foreshadowing completed, especially with a bit of tease of a new powerful strange social mainstream media viral videos for (Zachary Soetenga) Scott’s start-up company, Orr and screenwriter Max Roberts tease subplots one character’s financial struggles, never expanding on it further. The creature in this movie is a version of the Chupacabra species, which blends in the surroundings and enjoys hiding the dense shadows of the rainforest jungle. Now the movie switches gears slightly to allow the monster to posses the skills of slasher killer, and yet incredible hunting prowling, and why not, it is after all the natural habit for it and the group definitely trespassed into the wrong backyard. Fret not, the military and that neat social media tool and the factor of tinge of classism provides solution to the film, but leaves open the door to a sequel.

The beast thoroughly enjoys the environment and the lust of animal blood, with the human variety being equal to champagne, and needless to say, the second half of the flick contains many action sequences and chase scenes, filled with chaotic camera movements. As briefly mentioned earlier concerning the dialogue, much of it is left to improvisation and not setlines, hence the stuttering and hesitation from the actions in scenes formats. This technique works well when actors have familiarity with each other, for example stage actors or others in large productions that have months to learn the script and rehearse with their counterparts over a course of time, two of best that accomplish this Face/Off (1997) and Scarface (1983). As the film enters further in the jungle, the actions of individualism surface quickly, and lead to the dwindling of the group, with a brief uptick in suspense as the region creates a coffin atmospheric comprehension of limited visuals and risky maneuvers for the survivors.

Indigenous offers entertainment, for a mind numbing evening, but does measure up to a lasting purchase value, rather a quick rental, though the movie seems to have the staying power on YouTube as a free in-full movie. Sadly, it has an unspectacular and almost predictable ending, and at one moment, a little too convenient of a conclusion to the tale of horror. The director tried to capitalize on the location, and keeping the monster hidden far too long, and why leave the resort, bring the monsters to the resort, think of the close-out scene of a Chupacabra feeding or licking fingers on the white sand beach.