Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Screamers: The Hunting (2009) Review:

When I came across this direct-to-video sequel I was surprised to find that it was to the 1995 cult film, Screamers. After reading so many reviews on how bleak and dingy it looked and sounded, I wasn't expecting to come across any film related to it. I was a fan of the original however and I was really excited to see what the sequel had to offer. Sadly I was disappointed with the outcome of this film.

Gina Holden as the daughter Joseph A. Hendricksson
A group of soldiers come across a distress call sent out from the planet, Sirius 6B. Ahh yes, we know what that planet holds on it! Commanding this group is Lt. Victoria Bronte, the daughter of Col. Joseph A. Hendrickson from the first film portrayed brilliantly by Peter Weller. I do like how screenwriter Miguel Flores tries to tie in the story of the last film with this one. Some sequels abandon the original story line completely and that can be frustrating for fans. The screenplay even allows veteran actor Lance Henrikson's character, Orsow, to give Bronte some info on what her father (Joseph A.) was like. However, besides Henrikson, none of the other actors really make themselves any different from another.

The part that did make a difference in the movie were the special effects. Yes, Screamers (1995) was a knock-off of other popular films but it utilized its materials efficiently; even if the creature effects were super dated for its time. But in here, the bloodshed is cranked up, as are the creature effects. It looked so good that it almost seemed like putting it into the category of the cheap movies that the sci-fi channel airs is an insult. The fact that there was more blood on the screen made me happy alone. I mean, these are killer robots, so let's see some carnage!

Lance Henrikson as Orsow....the creator of the screamers
Also the screamers in this film would've been cool to see in the original. The way their mechanical bodies sound is high-tech and state of the art. I also liked how the human screamers didn't look meager either. For those who hadn't seen the first, the human screamers had several sharp blades in its mouth and hands. The way the screamers reveal themselves here is much more interesting; their face actually splits open! Yikes.

All of this is great but what wrecks this movie altogether is the plot. To make a long story short, the story runs almost identical to that of the first film from 1995. In some ways, the so-called "sequel" could be considered a reboot as well because it doesn't do anything new with its characters or story. Once I realized where the story was going after the first couple acts, I became disgruntled at the fact that I would be watching the same movie but with different actors, more blood and a fresh coat of chrome put over the old screamers.

And the worst was the ending to film, which I obviously won't reveal but for any science-fiction/horror genre film, there will always be a twist ending. And for this one, I don't really know how this leaves anything open to make another sequel. They practically killed the franchise by giving such slap-in-the-face ending. That was not needed. I came to watch this movie so I could enjoy and I ended being frustrated and only slightly satisfied.

The only thing Screamers: The Hunting has are special effects. Everything else is practically the same. The story was barely given any changes at all.

Points Earned --> 6:10

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