BEACON POINT: When movies forget their genre
My quest to find the worst horror movie continues and this time it brought me to a little flick that was actually pretty interesting. Until it wasn't. BEACON POINT is a low budget horror film that ISN'T FOUND FOOTAGE! Expectations subverted! BEACON POINT is supposed to be about a group of hikers that go up the mountains and encounter some kind of aliens. Pretty simple, right? Hard to mess that up, right? WELL THESE FUCKERS FOUND A WAY!
But, let's be nice and start with the good. The movie is actually pretty well put together, mechanically speaking. The lighting is done properly, they pay attention to their camera angles, there are no rookie mistakes. Professional grade stuff all around, so there's no cringe factor there. The acting does what it needs to do and while no one is gunna win an academy award off this shit reel, no one is bad enough to where you are sucked out of the film. The plot surrounding the aliens is actually surprisingly cool, but more on that later.
And that's it. We're done. That's the good.
Now the bad? Ho boy...Okay, so this movie starts off with us seeing two soldiers in the woods fighting...something. We don't ever actually see what they are fighting, but just some Raimi-esque quick close ups to indicate that something is attacking them. Now, do we ever know what these guys are doing out there? No. Do we ever really learn anything about them? No. Do they influence the plot in any real way? Nope. So why the fuck are they there? The main characters find the camp of these two soldiers at one point, but only recognize it in a throw-away fashion and it doesn't influence anything. So why was that intro included? But then we skip on ahead to a nature park employee who will be guiding our protagonists through the film. He's told to put on his uniform and come see the boss. What's the boss want? To fire him. Because the guy is a murderer. Now, for the entire scene I was wondering what fucking boss asks you to put your uniform on to fire you, and the exchange escalates so quickly and results in one of the most comical "accidental" deaths I've seen in a horror movie in a LONG time, though that scene DOES actually foreshadow the rest of the movie, weirdly enough. So I guess it was someone had a cool idea that just didn't work, but shoved it in the movie anyways. Either way, I'm nit-picking there, but I found that all funny.
Now, the next 45 minutes of this movie is just people walking through the woods engaging in...fairly normal hiking activities. There is a little foreshadowing and teasing of the greater mystery, but it ultimately only amounts to a few drops of water in your coke. There's just not enough build up to the mystery in this movie before BAM! OH SHIT, THERE'S AN ALIEN! And then there's no more aliens. Yeah. You see one alien in the entire movie. And it's for a total of 1 second. Yes, I timed it. You see 1 second of alien throughout the entire movie. And it's during a jump scare of all things.
This is when BEACON POINT just tries so damn hard to be JOHN CARPENTER'S THE THING and fails spectacularly. The hikers find out their guide has been found guilty of man slaughter and has since been released from prison and everyone starts freaking out. The movie is then more about the people and while we learn enough about them to understand them, the characters are just boring stereotypes. And then the bomb shell dropped. Turns out the main protagonist is only on this hike to spread her father's ashes at some specific place in the woods. It was then that I started having flashbacks to CONTACT.
But our protagonists soon learn that the aliens place tiny little hard drive things inside people's heads in order to...record what people see. But in order to get those drives back, they have to brutally rip out people's eyes with giant spikes. Do we ever get to see that, though? Course not, that would have been something we'd actually have wanted to watch. So. BUT! After our heroine learns this, she finds where it was that she wanted to go to spread her father's ashes. And does so. And that's it. That's the end of the movie. But wait, wasn't this movie about aliens cramming hard drives in people's heads? Yep. Wasn't this supposed to be a horror movie? Yeah. Wasn't it supposed to actually be scary? You bet.
I really get the impression this movie was originally supposed to be just about this woman going through this hike to spread her father's ashes but no one thought that was would be a fun film to watch so they just added the pointless alien spin on things.
The other thing that bothered me about the alien mystery in this movie is how the aliens can place these hard drives inside people with no problem, but in order to remove they they have to go all medieval? Either way. Skip this mess. If BEACON POINT is only going to pretend to be a horror movie for 15 minutes, I'm only going to give it 15 minutes of thought.