Saturday, 25 August 2012

Fright Fest Review - Guinea Pigs ★ ★ ★

Review by Damon Rickard
Stars Anuerin Barnard,Alex Reid, Steve Evets, Jack Doolan
Written by Ian Clark
Certification UK 15 TBC
Runtime 84 minutes
Directed by Ian Clark

Guinea Pigs is the story of a group of no-bodies in need of money, selling their bodies to a pharmaceutical company for the advancement of medical science. They will receive £2,000 for two weeks of allowing themselves to be injected with the new drug Pro-9 and studied for potential side effects and if the drug is working.

However the new drug has some unforeseen side effects and slowly one by one they start succumbing to them.  The only question they really want answered is were they part of the control group and if so, does it increase their chances of survival?

Ian Clark has created a decent little horror film on a low budget.  Cleverly using the location to enable horror staples such as seclusion, limited cast and a sense of claustrophobia.  His style of having it seem very natural as though we are merely spying on this group works really well.  It also shows you can get an almost documentary feel to a film without having the need for it to be "found footage".  After some initial slightly dodgy bits of acting as we are introduced to the characters, the cast handle this realism style admirably and pull off the fact it's meant to feel real and not acted. However, whilst this was a great way of bringing us into the film, it doesn't last and a the film progresses, this documentary feel slowly dissipates and we're back into the normal horror genre zone.

The film moves along at a decent pace and the characters are given a sense of individuality without having to delve too deeply into their histories and why they are there; it doesn't matter why they came.  There's some good set piece scares in here and whilst it won't change film there wasn't much to really criticise this film about.

Of course there's things that could be better otherwise it would be a five star review, however it didn't really do anything wrong, just didn't do the good stuff brilliantly.  Sadly this film won't be seen by many people and it does have a slightly too grainy look to play well in the major multiplexes, but it will find its audience. 

If you get a chance and you are a fan of horror then you should try and get hold of a copy.  Whilst I doubt you'll be blown away, you will find something here that suggests Ian Clark is someone to look out for.

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