American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Xtro" is an ugly, mean-spirited and despairing thriller that left me thoroughly depressed. Why was this movie made? What vision filled the filmmakers with a desire to share this work with an audience? I am not expecting a great movie when I walk in to see something named "Xtro," but I do hope the movie will contain some humor, or style, or excitement. "Xtro" is the work of incompetent cynics.
It's a British film, opening with a spaceship taking away a little boy's father. Three years later, the lad still has nightmares about it. Now his Mummy lives with another man, and the kid plays with his pet snake. Then the aliens visit again, dumping one of their creatures by the side of a road. The creature is one of those standard special effects monsters, made out of plastic, slime, teeth and moans.
Through a process that the movie makes complicated without making interesting, this creature has the ability to attack humans and turn them into things that look like people but aren't. One of the creatures is the little boy's "Daddy," who figure's in one of the most uncomfortable dinner-party scenes ever put on film.
The movie settles into a curious pattern. The scenes of everyday events are done as a sort of bitter, understated British slice of life. They alternate with the special effects scenes, which are heavy on teeth, slime, pulsating eggs and things that bite you in the face.