Night Feeders (2006)

Night Feeders (2006)

The Hunters Have Become The Prey

Four men out in the woods hunting deer have to fight for their lives as a horde of carnivorous aliens are unleashed when a meteor crashes into a lake.

 

I’m in a difficult position when it comes to reviewing low budget horror films like this. On one hand I applaud the fact that films like this are still being made, independent of big studios dictating every single move. There’s a certain charm to them because they’re usually made by fans for fans or at least contain some degree of love for the genre somewhere in the crew, be it the writers, special effects guys or cinematographers. And if it wasn’t for guys cutting their teeth in films like this, then there wouldn’t be anyone to ‘progress’ to making bigger budget films. Peter Jackson is the best example of this. However on the flip side, these films are usually so devoid of any budgets that they look like guys making a home movie. From a technical standing, the films are poor, either with dodgy lighting, muffled sound and with the look and feel of a twenty-year old VHS which has been repeatedly recorded over and the tracking has gone making the film all fuzzy. Night Feeders is one such example. It’s got a good heart but is so poorly made from a technical standing that it’s hard to see over the faults.

I’m not usually a fan of films where it’s clear the director has called in a few favours from his mates to work for free. However in this case, the casting of the four men is near perfect. They look and talk like your generic redneck hunters with shotguns, especially the larger-than-life guy who sounds a bit simple when he opens his mouth. They’re not the best actors in the world but you can tell they’re giving everything they’ve got. And it works because they’re not pretty teenagers with pearly-white teeth and perfectly-styled hair. They’re unshaven, rugged guys with bad teeth and scruffy hair. Take note Hollywood – they are believable characters. We don’t give a second thought to them tooling up and barricading themselves inside a farm house whereas we would if it were a scrawny cheerleader and her jock boyfriend. It’s this connection that manages to keep the heart of the film going as long as it can. Unfortunately that’s about a long as it takes the aliens to show up.

The aliens look awful in all honesty. They’re kept in the dark as long as possible but it’s inevitable that they will be needed to appear in the open at some point. And as soon as they do, you’ll probably freeze the film and start laughing uncontrollably. You wouldn’t be scared of these dweebs one bit. I would have preferred to see a guy in a cheap fancy dress costume running around the woods ripping people up but I guess the lure of CGI is too much for some people. If you want to see how to create effective aliens, just watch Evil Aliens – buckets of blood and guts and the aliens are guys in suits for most of the time. CGI is quick and nasty and the proof is here for all to see. Any attempts at creating atmosphere or tension are just thrown away as soon as the cartoon aliens show up looking they wandered in off the drawing board of Futurama. At least the aliens get well fed throughout the film and there’s lots of blood spilt.

 

Night Feeders is hard to recommend simply because it’s so cheaply made. I really wanted to like it and really want to show my support for low budget horror filmmaking. The director has got some good ideas and I love the realistic characters. Give them a bit of cash and some decent production values and let’s see what they can. The potential is there so let’s just pretend Night Feeders is a promo film!

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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