Waves [Infestation] (2020)

One of the curious realities of the film industry is that it can be very hard to figure out what the new film in the monthly schedule at the local video store (remember those? our last remaining one in my town closed down as I drafted this) actually is.  Indie films have a strange tendency to shed their titles like an old snake skin when they move to DVD and even a site like IMDB might not have been notified of the change.

In the case of this film, it was still listed as “in production” despite the fact that the DVD was due out in a few days.

Not that it was at all easy to figure out just which film it was.  The schedule even listed the wrong cast!

All in all, it seems like shameful treatment for a good Indie SF/horror combination.

Annie Burch works as the producer of a late night radio talk show about the weird and unexplained.  Even though she doesn’t believe any of the things talked about on the show, she is extremely good at finding interesting topics for the show.

But one night she has a strange missing time episode, and then discovers a story about people who’ve heard a strange noise out of the sky.

But is isn’t long before she figures out that there is something sinister going on, something just as weird as anything the show ever discussed, something which seems to be contaminating everyone around her…

Supposedly, Waves started life as a plan to make two interconnected short films which could be joined together into a feature.  However, instead it has been edited into a single story and only glimpses seem to remains of that second short film.

The resulting feature has a very Indie feel and tells its story in a very subjective way.

It reminds me strongly of last year’s The Vast of Night, with several lengthy “on air” scenes which manage to make off screen phone call monologues suspenseful (particularly one long and involved one).  For that matter, the climactic moment is very like what we saw in The Vast of Night as well.

But the structure, the tone, the plot, and the use of home video remind me of Black Wake (2018),which also dealt with mental contamination.

The result is unsettling, full of uncertainties and odd clues — and most of what’s going on seems to be happening somewhere else  There is an intriguing mystery, genuine shocks and a twist at the three-quarter mark which is truly unnerving.  It is a deftly told and decidedly creepy horror film, made with a lot of skill and confidence.

So it really doesn’t matter what you call it.  It’s still worth a look.

Just don’t drink the water…

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And check out our new Feature (Updated June 11, 2020):

The Rivets Zone:  The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!




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