2005 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #45
Director Albert Pyun tries his hand at the found-footage genre and where so many fail, he nailed it. Films in this genre have a tendency to be shaky, erratic and ultimately irritating but Pyun has crafted a controlled and highly affective chiller. It's an amazing feat too considering that the entire film is one continuous POV shot (no cuts) as captured by a hi-def dash cam mounted in a police patrol car. The film begins with the car driving deep into a national park at night, along a remote dirt road. With only the headlights and spotlight guiding the way everything is cloaked in darkness except for the road ahead. With reports of a meteorite shower in the canyon, the police officer is looking for a missing fisherman. He finds the man and is quickly infected by whatever has already taken over the man. What a movie. It's simple yet complex and I was totally enthralled by it. It's hard to imagine how and entire film, from one single perspective can possibly hold your attention, but seeing is believing. The dashboard's point of view puts the viewer right into the story. As the car slowly winds around narrow corners, the sense of an escalating tension gives the film a chilling and suspenseful uneasiness. Meteorites randomly flash across the sky and infected people appear from nowhere. Creepy spectres in the distance and noises from behind the camera make it a haunting experience. The script is excellent with the action well paced and the dialogue believable. Ingeniously, Pyun has incorporated a handful of characters into the story while maintaining a believability. In my interview with him recently, his writer (Cynthia Curnan) spoke about Invasion being a high point in their career because of what they achieved. Shot in one night, in one take and with a lot to lose they overcame the impossible and created a unique, original and stylised science fiction thriller. I rate it highly.