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12.17.2017
Insect (2014)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
08.22.14

Insect (2014) Fourteen-year-old Reggie and his brother Don, who will be eighteen in a month, just lost their mother to cancer. Their father died six years earlier so now they have to live with their aunt and uncle in another city. The movie begins with her funeral and the Aunt and Uncle telling them they can stay at their old house for a week until they have to move. Reggie starts having nightmares about his mother, with an insect face. He confides in his best friend, Angus. Weird things start to happen. There are three dead rats in the backyard, he's hearing strange voices and the police are called when he's screaming in the house. His brother is laid back at first but as the week progresses he starts getting fed up with Reggie's "acting out". Via flashbacks, we see how Reggie was attached to his mother. In one scene she gets him a Freddy costume for Halloween. In another, he's eight-years-old and she's late picking him up for school and he's crying. When she shows up she apologizes and the teacher asks her how things are going She tells her that her husband is trying to be upbeat, going in and out of hospitals.

Reggie asks his brother if they are going to get money from the house--he wants them to buy a condo together so they won't be separated. He thinks as soon as Don turns eighteen he'll leave him alone with the Aunt and Uncle. More odd things happen--like the wall of insects.

On the last night Don throws a party with his friends. Reggie freaks out when he finds people in his parent's room. He screams at the intruders, saying he's going to kill them. It's a big over-reaction. Later that night Reggie wakes up and hears a fan-like noise, so he wakes Angus up. His friend hears it, too, so it's not his imagination. And it's coming from his parent's room. Angus goes in and then Reggie hears a demonic voice say his name. Don wakes up and goes in and looks--but says that Angus isn't in the room at all. When they try to go in a second time the doorknob is too hot--and there's a huge, ferocious looking insect staring at them from the middle of the room...

INSECT is an effective horror film, with nods to the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films as well as PHANTASM--the elementary school is "Baldwin Elementary" and Reggie's pet cat is "Tallman". It's unsettling and a bit surreal. But what really sets it apart from 99% of independent horror films is that this is an animated movie. The animation is along the lines of a SOUTH PARK episode, which makes it even weirder--but it really works. Highly recommended. Written/directed and animated by Evan Jacobs.

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