They Look Like People
2015’s They Look Like People is a film of casual terror, the banality of wretched humanity. This indie film has a tone about it making it feel wholly natural, which I think is due to the restrained performances of the actors Evan Dumouchel as Christian and MacLeod Andrews as Wyatt. It would be easy to simply write this off as a psychological thriller, but the madness or possible mental illness of Wyatt is beyond creepy. In a world where white male mass murder is a given if not a constant, this kind of story is truly frightening.
There is a metaphor here for male relationships, especially how poisoned heterosexual masculinity has become. But more than anything, I think this film works best as a metaphor of mental health and as such deserves more attention and analysis. As a horror film, They Look Like People works because of it’s so very deliberate in its pacing. The impatient might find the film boring but that ignores how there isn’t much in the way of waste in terms of scenes. There’s a temptation in indie film to linger on the needless but not so much here. I was especially pleased with the lack of jump-scares and what ‘scares’ there are in the film are intense and effective.
A chilling film mining the depths of deep fear.