Saturday, 29 August 2015

Species 4: The Awakening (2½ Stars)

"Species 4" is the weakest film in the series. It lacks both the horror and the sexiness of the previous three films. It's only loosely connected to its three predecessors. With hardly any rewriting it could have been a standalone film.

Professor Tom Hollander teaches Biochemistry. Together with a brilliant young student, Forbes Maguire, he carries out experiments on creating human life. Shouldn't his name be Tom Frankenstein? He finds that he can regenerate human tissue by adding DNA that was sent by an alien race a few years ago. That's the only link to the other films. After most of his experiments fail and his creations have to be destroyed he feels guilty and vows never to create new life again. Forbes vows to continue the work by himself.

Only one of the experiments has survived, a female called Miranda. 20 years later Tom is living with her, claiming to be her uncle after the death of her parents. She has no idea that she isn't quite human. Forbes is living in Mexico, earning a living by bringing dead relatives back from the dead for huge sums of money. Tom is glad to ignore Forbes and his unethical medical practises, until Miranda gets sick and shows signs of morphing into an alien form. Tom drives her to Mexico to get Forbes' help.

As a horror film it's average, not scary enough to make me jump. It suffers from having a smaller budget than the previous films. They could have compensated by adding more nudity, but there are only occasional glimpses of naked flesh, less than in the other films. Overall it's a dull film that nobody would want to watch more than once.

The film uses a white-on-black version of the Metro Godwyn Mayer logo that I've never seen before. Usually it's in full colour with a roaring lion, and occasionally black-on-white, but this version is new to me. It looks so cool.

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