Title: Spores

Also known as:
Spory (Original title)

Year: 2011

Genre: Independent / Sci-fi / Horror

Language: Russian

Runtime: 78 min

Director: Maksim Dyachuk

Writer: Maksim Dyachuk


A group of friends stop by an old abandoned factory on their little roadtrip, and stumble upon something truly horrific, something from another planet, and it's hungry. During their fight for survival they find a whole nest of eggs...

Our thoughts:
Obviously a labor of love by Orbit Films (and owner Maksim Dyachuk), this is a monster movie with great potential of being entertaining. Pretty much made as a response to 2010's "Monsters" when Maksim Dyachuk saw a possibility of making his own monster hit, and hopefully follow it up with 2 sequels. Knowing how to create visual effects he decided to go for it. What came about was perhaps not a success (or rather, I haven't seen much of that success) but no matter what you think of the movie, it's important to know that Maksim Dyachuk essentially made it on his own, with a crew of two. And cast, of course.

The plot is as thin as a hair and works only as a setup to get to the monsters. Youngsters are going on a little roadtrip, but decide to make a stop by an old Soviet factory to check it out. Fascinated by this abandoned building they walk the halls in awe. Meanwhile on of the friends is an aspiring filmmaker and walks around thinking he's the next big director. Very soon we get to the first monster/alien sighting, and after that it's an hour long struggle for survival.

I'm very happy that they didn't wait around for the action to start - like the great "Evil Dead" they just wait for them to arrive, check the area a bit, and then release hell. It keeps the pace throughout and 78 minutes go by fast. This is a blessing, as the movie itself isn't very good, or that entertaining. Yes, I suppose I was entertained to an extent, but mostly due to it being a shallow recreation of many American alien movies and not pulling it off too well.

The acting is hard to comment on, but the characters themselves are extremely stupid and unbelievable (I suppose they usually are in US horror as well, though). You can't wait for them to kick the bucket! In the first alien attack scene, where one of their friends is killed, they scream at the horror one second, and in the next second one of them say "There's nothing we can do, leave it" (I'm paraphrasing). And they all seem to just accept that! We know Russians are harder people, but THAT hard?

The movie is filled to the max with Maksim Dyachuk's own visual effects, and I have to say they looked better than I had expected from the promo shots I had seen. Still, it's not good and it's very obvious CGI - nothing subtle about it. But it could have been a lot worse. With some training, he should be able to make acceptable effects for a future project. But let's be realistic, I'm being very nice here. Usually I would want to go on a rant about how much I dislike CGI, but I knew what I was going in for and doing that would be unfair. Let's keep it to one question: are the effects good or not? Not really. They might bring laughs, though. Especially one scene where a girl is hanging from something and the aliens are below her, trying to reach her. When one finally does, she gets her lower half pulled off. An oddly amusing scene! We get lots of different styled aliens, from weird squidlike things that attach to your head/upper body, to dragon-like flying things, and the most common one is like a lizard-dog-crossbreed. Basically, they seemed to be designed simply from trying to make cool looking monsters, rather than from logic.

"Spores" is a stupid movie and you can tell Maksim Dyachuk is mostly operating after what he has seen before. Parts of the movie are entertaining, but mostly it's just another cheap CGI horror. The filmmaker pretty much made it all himself, so that counts for something. I think he could make a decent/good, fun horror movie one day if he puts more attention to what counts. Obviously he wanted to make a monster movie, and at least he did it. Cheesy visual effects and a variety of lizard/dinosaur-like aliens is a guarantee, and if that's what you're after then there's no reason to skip this. If you want a great monster movie, look elsewhere. I will watch the sequels if he makes them, though. Why not?

Positive things:
- Maksim Dyachuk pretty much made it himself.
- The location, colors of the enviroment, etc. really reminds me of some of my favorite Russian movies.
- At times it's mildly amusing.
Negative things:
- Pretty bad effects, but there are brief moments where they are okay.
- Stupid characters.
- No real story (he did make it possible for more story in the sequels, though).
- An ending that felt, strangely enough, like a rip-off of "The Mist". Though this wasn't a twist at all.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 1/5
Effects: 1.5/5
Comedy: 2/5

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