I think a lot of people are, unfortunately, likely to pass on this film based on its appearance. I'm not gonna sit here and suggest that this was a great film, or even a good one, but it's definitely better than I think the audience reaction would imply here. Or at least the score, because people can score a film without reviewing it. I'd like to think the reviews are a little more thoughtful. Jim Mickle has gone on to directed several films I've enjoyed. Those being Stake Land and We Are What We Are, the latter being the better of the two. I, unfortunately, have not had the pleasure of watching Cold in July just yet, but I definitely want to. I thought this was honestly gonna be something along the lines of CHUD. Like a cheap low-budget, B-fest, with ridiculously over-the-top moments. But this was honestly, and bear with me when I say this, closer to 28 Days Later than it was to CHUD. 28 Days Later is one of my favorite horror movies from the 2000s, so this isn't a comparison I make lightly. Even with the concept of rat-people who act like zombies, this is treated as something that is serious. Not too pretentiously serious or anything like that, since this is STILL a movie with rat-people that act like zombies, but it's certainly a refreshing way to tell this story. The characterization is also supremely well-done. These characters aren't cliched or stereotypical. They may not be the most intricately written characters, but there's a certain reality in how they interact with each other. They're a small tight-knit community of tenants all sharing the same building, that they're being evicted from. They all have distinct personalities and you come to like them in their own way. So Jim Mickle and Nick Damici, who acted and co-wrote the film, already had a handle on how to properly frame their characters to make the horror of what happens to them be truly effective. With that said, I do think that the characters themselves, while likable, needed a little bit more depth. The movie is quite short, but they really do the best they can with what they're given and I cannot hold that against them in the least. The movie is well-paced, it doesn't feel longer than it should've been, and it climaxes perfectly. The ending itself is very poignant, particularly for this type of film. I think the horror itself, while decent enough, wasn't as effective as it could've been. This is, again, budgetary problems. I'm not holding it against them, but in a way I am given the score I'm giving it. It's just not what I would call a good movie to be honest. This was just a way to get Jim Mickle's foot in the door into a bigger independent spotlight and this early film proved him to already be adept at characterization and atmosphere. Something that was very useful in a film like We Are What We Are. I wouldn't exactly recommend this to just anyone, but it's pretty decent all things considered. It's not pretty, but it's got more than enough under the hood to keep one intrigued.