January 05, 2007

"It's all about cameras, conspiracies and alien girls from hooter planet!"

I picked up Decoys from the $5.50 discount bin at WalMart, and it turned out to be a likable little horror movie from Canada. That word - "likable" - is the first thing that came to mind after watching it, and it's as good a word as any to describe it.

First things first: the title sucks. "Decoys" bears no resemblance to anything that happens in the movie. I have no idea what it's supposed to mean.

As for plot, it's cliched from beginning to end, with a "surprise" twist you can see coming from a mile away. Despite that, it's fun and sometimes funny and it doesn't hurt that the bad guys are three great looking blondes.

But you know things can't be as they seem (or there wouldn't be a movie). The story takes place in the winter at a small college in New Brunswick, Canada. A freshman is doing his laundry when he meets two sexy blonde coeds who claim to be cousins. They outrageously flirt and tease him, and thanks to the magic of plot twists the creep later finds himself alone in their dorm room. He takes time for a personal perv moment with some of their laundry, and then has to quickly hide in the closet when the girls return.

At this point, we're all treated to the only bare breasts of the movie, just before one of the girls sprouts her tentacles, letting us all know (including peep boy in the closet) that these girls are really aliens in disguise.

Of course, none of his friends believe him. His roomie has the serious hots for one of the blondes, and this causes a strain in their friendship, especially when roomie announces plans to lose his cherry to her.

Things go from bad to worse when guys start to show up dead. Our hero tries to convince people that he knows it's alien babes doing the murders, but circumstances make everyone think he's jealous and being a dick about it. Probably because for much of the movie, he *is* a dick (well, aside from the whole unbelievable "alien tentacles babe" bit).

In the end, hero wins over the aliens, saving Earth and all that crap. More or less. No spoilers for you.

As I mentioned before, the alien women are gorgeous, as is practically every other female in the movie. It almost makes me willing to move to Canada and brave the great white north again. It was nice to watch a movie like this and not see gratuitous boobage every other scene, because it was sexier watching the girls do their thing half dressed. The hero is well built, so there's plenty for the ladies to drool over too.

The acting was mostly ok, although oddly uneven. Some major characters were one dimensional cartoons, while others had real depth and complexity. The differences could be jarring, especially in scenes where the two types appeared together.

There are story holes big enough to drive a zamboni through. Important plot points are introduced and almost instantly forgotten. Logic goes right out the window at times, and while you're at it, close the damn window! It's Canada and winter and cold!

The special effects are nicely done and very understated. There isn't a whole lot of blood and gore, so slasher fans will be disappointed. The real scares come via short shock scenes, which some folks might think are cheap tricks. They'd be right, but you're still gonna jump.

I'll admit to something a little stupid here. One scene opened showing a frozen body on a morgue table. The camera was still, the room was empty and quiet, and all you could see was the body. I sat there for a few seconds, waiting for the scare. And waited. And waited. I began to marvel at how the director could ramp up the anxiety in a scene by doing absolutely nothing. I *knew* something was going to happen, and it finally did. I noticed the "pause" icon on the screen and restarted the movie.

Sometimes I scare myself.

The tone of the film keeps changing, as if they couldn't figure out whether the movie was supposed to be serious horror or a T&A teen flick. It's more of that uneveness that interrupts the flow of the story. Towards the end, there is a really nice scene between the roomie and one of the alien babes. By "nice" I mean thought provoking and even touching, it's some of that darned character development creeping in. Unfortunately, the very next scene cuts to Rambo-Boy and his flamethrower (figuratively, at that point), and all trace of that potential storyline is scorched.

Mostly though, I keep coming back to "likable". Despite the many flaws, I enjoyed the movie. And that's what it's really all about, eh?

Posted by: Ted at 05:35 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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1 Recognized one of the names: Kim Poirer ("Constance") was the blond chick who dies via chainsaw in the remake of Dawn of the Dead. She also has the worlds 2nd-most-gratuitous topless scene in The Rats.

Posted by: Victor at January 05, 2007 04:13 PM (DC+XA)

2 Yep, Constance was the one topless shot in the whole movie. She was a major character and in many scenes, so it was a nice change to see the bras left on.

Pretty undies are sexy.

Posted by: Ted at January 05, 2007 08:38 PM (+OVgL)

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