Watching this movie from beginning to end just made me think about movies like Slither, Splinter and Shiver (recurring theme much?) who have all done this thing before, only... Well, you know, good? There were way to many bad guys antagonists, and the main characters were all just boring and annoying people to be around. At least when Justin Roberts became infected (above) he became a little bit interesting (if incredibly cheesy). I really can't see any reason why this movie needed to be released? It's entirely possible that whoever came up with the plot failed and coming up with the money, and he did the best he could, but this is not the sort of a film I'd want to be putting down on a resume.
I wasn't strictly speaking bored, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that I was entertained. The CGI was appalling the acting was only mildly better. The whole thing was mostly unbelievable. Though it wasn't that bad, it's sooo difficult to think of any actual positive points. On a pass/fail basis, I'd give this movie a big fail. It does a couple of things okay, but it's very difficult to follow, and doesn't really have anything that stands out in apositive light about it.
Growth is one of those movies about which a whole lot of people are unloading a whole lot of calumny over on the IMDB boards. I've got an hypothesis about that (don't I always?). A lot of the things folks are saying-and I add, even before we get into it, that most of them are accurate-are the kinds of things that people say about movies that inspire ennui, not ire; it's boring, it's got plotholes you can drive a truck through, the acting is awful (that one I will dispute, at least in part, later on), the script is worse, etc. Nothing you haven't seen in hundreds of other DTV low-budget special effects extravaganzas. I think the reason that one has drawn so much hatred is that somewhere under the surface of this movie is a really, really good-perhaps great-movie. I think people are reacting to that, rather than the film we got. And that is a valid approach to criticizing the movie. But on the other hand, that also tends to give short shrift where it is, perhaps, undeserved; if you can separate what could have been from what is and overlook a few shortcomings that really are as bad as people make them out to be, this is actually not an awful way to kill ninety minutes if you're a fan of creepy-crawly horror.
Plot: researchers in a secret genetic lab on a remote island make a breakthrough in 1989, but it ends up getting loose and causing a massacre. Fast-forward twenty years. Jamie Ackerman (Magic Mike's Mircea Monroe), who escaped the terror of that night, and a handful of her friends return to the sparsely-populated island to sell her family's property. But something feels off. Larkin (Office Space's Richard Riehle), the mayor, warns her away almost as soon as she sets foot on the island, and the rest of the islanders look at her as if they haven't eaten in weeks and she's a steak. She and her crew, poking around the remains of her father's old laboratory, uncover evidence that whatever he discovered might not have been completely eradicated. Jamie realizes that her real estate adventure may be a tougher sell than she realized.
Okay, yes, this movie is dumb. But if you're picking apart the science in a horror movie, I submit that perhaps you're thinking about it a little too hard. This isn't a movie about science, it's a movie about nasty special effects. Think of it as Slugs for the serial-killer generation. That doesn't totally redeem it, of course-though one wonders how much it would if Cowan had had the kind of budget that made Alien vs. Predator into one of the best, and yet stupidest, turn-your-brain-off-and-have-fun movies of the past decade-but it's enough to get some enjoyment out of what you're seeing. If you want a creepy-crawly movie, and everything else in your collection you've seen too many times, check this out. Go into it with no expectations and you'll have some fun with it. **
The story: a young woman and her twenty-something friends arrive on an island on which her father and his scientist pals once genetically engineered parasitic crawly things that were somehow meant to be to the benefit of mankind but weren't. She thinks she's inherited the place but she hasn't. For some reason, the parasites have left the inhabitants of the island alone for 20 years, but they now become active again. One of her friends is infected and starts killing people. The islanders band together to stop them, but the woman has a (very simple) formula for a drug to stop the infestation. An arm gets ripped off here, a few people get shot, things crawl in and out of holes in people's skin, and there's a predictable ending. You may now go find something more interesting to watch.
Aside from not capitalizing on potentially humorous situation and lacking in originality, the continuity errors really detract from what might have been a passable flick with more effort. Blood stains on character's shirts appear and disappear. Wounds appear and disappear. They just weren't trying very hard. There's even some evidence that a couple of the scenes were intended to be in a movie about a disease instead of one about parasites. Otherwise, after their prior experience with the beasties, why would the islanders bother wearing pollen masks to stop them? It clearly doesn't work.
If you are hankering for a good flick about parasites, try David Cronenborg's "Shivers." If you want over-the-top fun, try "Slither." If you want entertaining so-bad-it's-good cheez, track down "Squirm." "Growth" borrows liberally from all of these but never attains the merits of any of them. It's one of those movies you might leave on for background noise, but you'll have forgotten you've seen it in a week or so.
I wouldn't bother unless there's absolutely nothing else to watch...