Science fiction and aliens go hand in hand. Although labeling a film as sci-fi doesn't always mean little green men, it's usually the first thing we think of. The beings in question in this film, "The Thing Inside Us," may be considerably smaller, but the gist is the same. As Giorgio Tsoukalos is often quoted as saying, "I'm not saying it's aliens, but it was aliens." In this film, husband and wife Daniel and Shelly are going through a rough patch. After recovering from a mysterious virus spreading across the globe, the troubles for this couple seemed to have passed. Except, Shelly began sleepwalking, and things seemed to be escalating. The doctor says it's anxiety, but Daniel is sure that it isn't. As things get worse and worse, Shelly finally vanishes only to turn up a few days later, seemingly all better. Only ... she's not all the better at all and in fact, once "found out" by her husband, all hell seems to break loose. Shelly is definitely not herself, and Daniel is forced to take drastic actions. What is wrong with her? What does all this have to do with the virus? The answer may not wholly shock you, thanks in part to the film's poster art, but one thing I can say is that the final act is pretty cool, and yes, reader, I'm attempting to keep this all as spoiler-free as possible. The short of this review? Paul Catalanotto's feature-length sci-fi/horror hybrid far exceeded my expectations and kept me interested until the very end - and that's what matters most, right?
I mean ... I can dig it. Things may not have been one hundred percent perfect, but so what. Honestly? I enjoyed this ultra-low-budget feature one hell of a lot more than I initially thought I would. My biggest complaint? The damn poster art. Even if the poster were exactly the same, minus the spaceship and the blue light it emits, there would still be plenty of mystery in this film, leaving act three entirely open for a fantastic reveal. That wasn't the case, however, and because of that, all the mystery that should have engulfed the first and second acts was wiped away. It's a shame because the build-up of events and possibilities is clearly evident in the film, and it all just seemed to be wasted.
As for the technical elements? "The Thing Inside Us" is framed almost in the style of "Paranormal Activity" in that Daniel has a bunch of cameras set up, and he chases Shelly around with his own camera as well. The guise is that he's recording in order to ask the internet for help - and it all works well enough. The performances themselves are hit and miss, with some very realistic portrayals at times highlighting this dialog-heavy movie. I'll admit that as cool as the last act was, it did occasionally suffer some hollowness here and there. But again, reader, nothing that would be considered a deal-breaker. Like I said above, for an ultra-low-budget flick, "The Thing Inside Us" is surprisingly encompassing.
I like science fiction, and realistically? Anyone who enjoys the genre will find this movie enjoyable. If you also happen to enjoy found footage-type film, then one hundred percent this movie will be up your alley. I won't go so far as to say that Catalanotto's flick will win an Oscar, but I had fun with it. Sometimes all it takes is a good concept and some familiar tropes to hook a viewer. A viewer like me—three and a half stars, well done.