The Recall – Review
THE RECALL is a film that wears so many hats it could open its own haberdashery. While that might sound like a recipe for disaster, it works in this case. One part eco-horror, one part alien abduction, one part home invasion, one part CABIN IN THE WOODS, and one part Cronenberg-esque body-horror, THE RECALL has a lot of great story elements and is chalk full of silly, campy horror tropes. Story aside, another set of hats worn by the film revolve around the different platforms in which the film can be viewed and how it was filmed. But first, let’s talk about this wild story and it’s even wilder cast of characters as THE RECALL boasts some major star power with the likes of Wesley Snipes (BLADE, WHITE MEN CANT JUMP) and RJ Mitte (BREAKING BAD, ).
The story follows teenagers Brendan (RJ Mitte), Charlie (Jedidiah Goodacre), Annie (Laura Bilgeri) and Rob (Niko Pepaj) who are heading off to do some serious R&R at the cabin in the woods owned by Caras (Irish up-and-comer Hannah Rose May) parents. Despite some serious and bizarre global warming related weather being forecasted, the kids soldier one, hell-bent on having a good time. Unlucky for them, the weather isn’t the only serious and bizarre thing they encounter on their road-trip up to the cottage. When they stop at a gas station to refuel, Brendan, an avid shutterbug, encounters a camouflage-suited, wild eyed, gun-toting man (played by Snipes) simply referred to as “the hunter”. It’s safe to say that the Hunters welcome is far from warm.
When the kids get to the cabin, the bad weather picks up, and in record breaking time it goes from bad to worse. Unbeknownst to the group, this isn’t just a storm system but a full-on alien invasion and mass abduction that takes the teens to strange and supernatural worlds that sit comfortably in the vein of the worlds created by David Cronenberg with elements of FIRE IN THE SKY thrown in for good measure.
The ending of the film leaves an open ended possibility for a sequel which I would be happy to see. The Cara and Niko characters weren’t as developed as I would like which lead to some questions about their actions and reactions which could be more realized with some further expansion on their backstories and histories. That being said, their performances were strong and well done, and along with Jedidiah Goodacre, are definitely ones to keep an eye out for in the future.
Snipes is in fine form and it’s a pleasure to see him on the big screen again. He seemed to really enjoy playing this role and added a lot of humour to the film which was already pretty heavy on the laughs.
The film is the first to be shot in the ultra-wide theatrical game-changing format known as Barco Escape technology. Barco utilizes 3 screens and an 8:1 aspect ratio which immerses the viewer into the visuals and story of the film in a new and innovative way. THE RECALL itself features 30 minutes of the film utilising this panoramic viewing experience. The technology is still in its inception phase and while there may be a few little kinks to work out it is a really exciting advancement in how we as viewers can get even more involved and engaged in the theatrical format.
THE RECALL doesn’t reinvent the wheel but then again, that’s not what it set out to do. It set out to entertain us and that it did. The film as a whole is a fun, silly and campy little number that is worth checking out.
THE RECALL will do a short Barco theatrical run the first week of June, and a 2D theatrical release starting June 9th in North America. A world-wide theatrical run will begin July 15th. If you can’t make it out to the theatre, you can check out the film on VOD starting June 16th in N.A. and in a very special VR format beginning June 16th.
3.5 Tombstones – “If you want to watch something campy, silly and fun, The Recall is a good choice”