Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Greg Kiefer
Cast: John Redlinger, Jes Macallan, Karl Makinen
Thirst is the kind of movie that any self-respecting horror fan has seen more than once. After an alien crash lands on earth a group of unsuspecting young people stumble into its tracks and we have our horror movie. Basically if you have seen any movie with that plotline you’ve seen Thirst.
Thirst does have a couple of things going for it. For one it has a pretty cool looking creature, a huge biomechanical lizard with a head resembling an eyeless alligator. The second thing this film has going for it is it has fairly decent CGI to go along with its cool monster, or at least for the most part. You see, a large chunk of this movie takes place at night and when the creature is shown shrouded in darkness it actually looks almost top notch, but lo and behold daylight rears its ugly head and the CGI begins to show its limits. While still a cut above the usual low budget fare, it’s nothing to write home about (still to my mind the best straight to DVD CGI can be found in Tremors 5: Bloodlines).
The reason our group of teens come into contact with the big scary alien monster is because their rich parents sent them on a scared straight program led by an unhinged ex-cage fighter who likes to manhandle the kids for no particular reason (seriously he grabs a kid round the neck and throws him to the ground for no reason whatsoever). So this lunatic, whom we later learn killed a man in the ring, and his spouse are taking these kids on an excursion out into the desert for some camping, or something – I don’t really know as the kids are basically treated like criminals for some reason and I don’t exactly get what a camping trip in the desert is going to do to scare them straight. I suppose the giant alien lizard is a good start but that was just pure coincidence (or was it… no it definitely was).
Now Where this movie really falls down is in its willingness to follow the standard genre tropes and fill its story with the usual character archetypes we’ve all come to expect from a movie like this. We also have to have the stupid character cliché. Early on, the psychotic cage fighter and his wife discover a dead body that has clearly been horrifically mauled, but decide to press on anyway. They justify this in the ridiculous way stupid characters tend to do and the body count rises from there. At that point I realised that this was going to be the type of movie that takes all measures to make sure the characters are in the most dangerous of situations, and logic be damned. I was proven correct in that assumption after they pulled the old trick of a character falling over for no reason when running from the monster cliché. Later on they did the classic, character locked outside as characters argue and fight about whether to let them in bit. You know, standard stuff all horror fans know and have come to live with.
As usual in these types of movies no one is really given any kind of character development and so we aren’t really given anyone to root for, you just kind of sit back and wait for them to meet their grizzly ends. The movie clips along at a steady pace as the one note characters are steadily killed off and it really felt as if the writer took notes from the “how to write a monster movie” handbook. In fact, at this point there is probably just an autofill option to write scripts like this.
So in the end we are left with a cool looking monster killing one-note characters who die mainly due to their own stupidity in a movie that is riddled with clichés. If that’s your jam then give this one a try, if not, just steer clear.