Ever since Paranormal Activity is released, the found-footage style of filmmaking has become a norm in horror genre. Of course, the whole style of filmmaking where one or more characters in the film actually record the happenings, while being an integral part of the story, makes the whole experience interesting. However, one needs to be really particular about the environment and the use of found-footage technique for a film such as the recently released Indigenous.
Let’s dig a little more into the film before jumping on to the conclusion whether this is a “handycam” or “mocumentary” style film or not. Indigenous introduces us to a somehow familiar plot where a group of five young American friends travel to the beaches of Panama to relax and reconnect, where they befriend a local woman who suggests them of visiting a untouched waterfall somewhere deep inside the Panamanian jungle believe to be harboring something weird.
As they head into the jungle, hoping for a great time, despite local warnings on that dangerous territory, they found themselves chased away by something sinister in nature. What begins as an innocent, fun-filled day trip in a strikingly beautiful surrounding turns out to be a nightmare; by then it was too late for them to realize the truth behind those legends and come out of the clutches of the blood-sucking creature – Chupacabra.
Watch the official trailer of the film Indigenous
Well, coming back to filmmaking, Indigenous is no way impressive other than the fact that it incorporates few twists in the end. I believe the film takes much of its time bringing in the horror element on screen, and when it finally arrives, it never leaves much impact – probably holding the fact that the existence of a creature like Chupacabra never comes to any imagination that even seems too similar to many other in different horror movies. In addition, there is the usual genre clichés with those useless jump-scare moments.
Finally, I must say that even though it’s a low budget film, the makers never ever tried to create a realistic environment. The jungles were not that dense and dark; the caves don’t seem to be that much claustrophobic, and nor the waterfall ever that shady and suspicious. Moreover, as far as acting is concerned, I don’t think anyone of them in the cast tried to justify the plot. Many a times, it seems they all tried to overplay everything with little insight on human behavior in such a grave situation.
To conclude, I should make it clear that Indigenous is not a found-footage film. It tries to mix a bit of everything and somewhere in the middle loses track while trying to meet the obvious genre expectations.
Starring: Zachary Soetenga, Lindsey McKeon, Sofia Pernas, Pierson Fode, Jamie Anderson, Juanxo Villaverde, Laura Penuela
Directed by: Alastair Orr