Directed by: Chad Ferrin
Cast: Robert Miano, Tim Halpin, Joseph Pilato
Parasites almost opens on a Judgment Night note, but it doesn’t take long to toss us a few curveballs and completely bypass a Stephen Hopkins approach in favor of an outward nod to John Carpenter. It’s easy to see a picture like this work well for those who still have some wiggle room within their attention spans, whereas younger, or less patient viewers might feel as though the extended game of cat and mouse occurring here drags a bit. I don’t mind a little depth in my story, so Parasites was satisfactory in regards to pacing, for me.
What we basically have is a town of deranged (is that all?) transients who decide they’re going to kill outsides. And so, it’s up to the good guys out lasting the bad guys. Unfortunately, that really is just about the gist of the story. It’s a bit plain Jane, but it does have a few shining moments.
Here and there we get some respectable gore, and while the cast is generally a bit green, they turn in strong showings. So, technically speaking there are definitely some good things happening in the film. Hopkins likes a lot of his shots to be lengthy single spins, a la the aforementioned Carpenter, and it often looks great. The vintage vibe of the film in general captured a little slice of my heart.
But that’s not to say the film is free of error. That’s not the case. The degree of suspension of disbelief required to even begin contemplating this story as something serious is pretty much beyond reach for all of us, but I think Chad Ferrin set out to make not a serious film, to the core, I think he set out to create an intense character study with just enough black humor to get an occasional chuckle and just the right look to remind us of solid grindhouse films of the 70s.
Parasites is going to be an acquired taste. For my money it does enough things, and examines a few characters that prove interesting. So, if sometimes outlandish exploitation pics have a place in your heart, look into Parasites.