After Dusk They Come



Directed by: Jorge Ihle

Starring: Jewel Staite, Justin Baldoni, Nikki Griffin

Synopsis:

When their yacht runs aground on a reef, 6 friends manage to reach an uncharted tropical island. As they await rescue, they discover that they are not alone, a cannibalistic tribe of feral cavemen also live on the island, and so the terror begins…

Review:

This film has been knocking around for a year or so and has been released in various territories as either The Tribe, or The Forgotten Ones. Usually this would be seen as a bad omen, as different distributors try to shake off any bad reviews the previous title might have picked up. However, in this case, At Dusk They Come proves to be a rather decent – if very derivative – survival horror.

Things kick off in the fine form of a prologue set at the turn of the century, as the camp of an anthropologist is attacked during a night-time thunderstorm. Anyone watching the film in surround sound is going to be in for a treat, because the sound engineering is of an excellent standard and the thunder really packs a wallop here.

Things slow right down though when we’re introduced to the film’s protagonists. Here we have short introductions, group dynamics and a little exposition, such as Peter’s intention to propose to Liz (Jewel Staite, from Firefly). These sort of intro scenes are nearly always dull – the only one in recent memory which wasn’t was in High Lane, because there was a lot of underlying tension in that particular group.

Once our guys and girls are shipwrecked though, the pace picks up once more. Liz has an eerie encounter, nearly falling for a trap/lure (an excellent tense moment which comes out of nothing). And then, in the morning, one of their number has disappeared, a trail of blood showing the direction he was dragged off.

After Dusk They Come makes good use of the island setting, sending our intrepid group further inland to find their friend and being stalked by creatures hiding in the trees (shades of Predator here – also, the sounds the creatures make are exactly like the Predator noises). The creatures themselves are quite well developed and the actors do a good job of selling them as something other than man-in-monkey-suit – especially when they are swinging through the trees.

Nothing happens in too obvious a fashion, and there is no clear-cut “last guy/girl” – until there is. I’m sure there are plot holes aplenty if you want to look for them, but I found the film very entertaining and well made.

Verdict A solid survival horror in the vein of Wrong Turn/The Descent/High Lane, with a big dash of Lost and Predator thrown in.

7 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)

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