Snatchers (2020) – movie review

Snatchers. Image credit: Courtesy of Variety Snatchers. Image credit: Courtesy of Variety

With this movie being the 12th, at least, to have the word “Snatchers” in the title, you might expect it to be a rip-off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You’d be kind of right and kind of wrong at the same time.

Plot and “origins” of Snatchers

Snatchers is, in fact, a comedy-horror-sci-fi flick about a teenage girl who gets pregnant with an alien after having had sex for the first time. She slept with the school’s biggest douchebag who, apparently, brought something evil from a trip in Mexico… and now this evil entity is inside our lead girl’s body. She and her former bestie must figure out a way to get read of the alien, which is hungry for flesh and blood, and save their little town.

To my knowledge, Snatchers is based on a tv show of the same name which, in turn, was based on a short movie the directors made a few years ago. So, if you’re a fan of the tv series or the short film, you might want to give Snatchers 2020 a chance. Personally, I only watched this movie out of curiosity and necessity to review a new horror flick, since neither the premise nor the trailer looked any good. Snatchers was released at the beginning of January (the worst month for cinema) and it was distributed on VOD… not a very promising start.

Continue reading and check my final grade below… 

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Snatchers – characters & script

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ends, since both storyline and characters in Snatchers are truly unbearable. Here, what really lets the movie down is the script: the way every character (especially the main ones) is written, makes it impossible to relate to them in the slightest. No one in this flick reacts like a normal person would do, making it extremely hard to connect with them. On top of that, the dialogue is quite embarrassing: the filmmakers tried to write dialogue that resembles how teenagers talk, but what they say feels more like a clumsy attempt at recreation done by people who have no idea how teenagers interact with each other. There’s a lack of consistency too in this regard, because when things get “dramatic” our main characters start speaking like adults, out of the blue.

The story is obviously very silly, but that’s not really an issue since Snatchers is supposed to be a horror comedy. The real problem is that the structure feels jarring and all over the place: it’s like every scene has a 3-act structure, so after every sequence you’d expect the movie to be over. This is evident in the ending of Snatchers, which just ends with the most thrown in finale you can think of, as though the filmmakers ran out of ideas and just stopped filming without properly ending the movie.

Is Snatchers a B-movie of just a bad movie?

Going into the movie, I didn’t expect a visually stunning film nor a big-budget spectacle with stunning special effects. Which is why I won’t consider the awful visual effects as a negative… it’s kind of charming, despite looking objectively cheap and poorly rendered. Yet, Snatchers has enough self-awareness that having crappy-looking aliens going around doesn’t necessarily affect the film. What’s disappointing about it, instead, is that every other technical aspect feels lazy and cheap.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to create nice cinematography, to craft good scenes and to achieve a decent sound design. It takes talent, though. Unfortunately, Snatchers features a very bland, Disney channel-like visual flair that makes the movie look extremely unpleasant. On top of that, the camera work relies on no more than a couple of basic techniques, resulting in the movie being stale and tiresome to watch. Finally, the score is truly atrocious, since it’s made of stock music and sounds that are exaggeratingly loud, as to imply some sort of relevance that really isn’t there.

Let’s snatch some quality!

Snatchers isn’t a total waste, though. There are some genuinely decent aspects about it, such as the Edgar Wright-inspired editing style, which is something to latch onto when most aspects in this flick are boring and uninspired. Yet, despite the extremely flat and tv-like visual style of Snatchers, the first few minutes feature some funny gags, both visually and delivered through witty dialogue. Also, Snatchers doesn’t waste any time: things happen and escalate very quickly, so much so that the first gory sequence (where we also see the creature for the first time) occurs way earlier than I expected. In fact, whether you like the movie or not, this flick is undeniably full of energy and very fast paced. Also, there are two more gory scenes that, onto themselves, are rather fun to watch and entertaining, in an over the top, silly way.

Obviously, these few redeeming qualities don’t warrant a good review nor my recommendation to watch the movie. If you feel like putting a horror flick in the background while you’re washing dishes, then Snatchers might do the job. But if you like to pay attention and be invested in the horror films you watch, you should skip this one out.

Rating 3

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