Director: Eric Valette
A group of mooks that work in an underground garage/parking lot get a horror tune up when a killer car that morphs at will starts to hunt them down in the name of making them its lunch.
I took notice of French director Eric Valette when he first burst onto the genre scene with his tight French film MALEFIQUE. The dude then went to Hollywood, made the One Missed Call remake, figured out the hard way that the Studio system sucks ass, did a movie in France (State Affairs) and now he's back to the Indie scene with HYBRID, a killer car jamboree that has been on the shelves for a bit. They actually gave the film a Post 3D conversion for its release to jack up its chances of making some dough. Now, I just caught it at the 2010 Sitges Film Fest (in 2D, I can't see how 3D would jack this into a better watch) and found out the hard way why its been on the delayed list.
Look, I love me a good possessed vehicle on the hunt opus. CHRISTINE, THE CAR, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE are all favorites of mine, so I came into this sucker pumped, wanting to love it. Its been a while since I've seen this kind of horror flick and I missed them. Although not a good film on paper, on some levels, HYBRID delivered. It had a solid initial premise, a potent set up, an easy pacing, some cool ass looking cars (that black one was dope),groovy car POV shots and a handful of nifty ideas in its trunk. The thought of a creature (with a head that's under the hood), able to morph into varied vehicles to nab its prey is yes a dumb one, but in the B Movie world, its also a fun one. And when HYBRID “nailed it”, it made way for amusing “car stalks – motorcycle stunts – peeps run - car murders” set pieces that had me grinning. Furthermore, the film sported countless action scenes that were pretty money in concept and execution. Valette is no clown behind the camera and his flair for the stylized upped the yowzer factor of the ride. The acting was also “all right” (too bad the dialogue ruined it, more on that later) with cutie Melanie Papalia coming out of it okay and Shannon Beckner owning it with her Ripley'esque display. She stood out the most!And yeah, I gotta admit having a hoot on a so bad its good level. Some of the characters decisions, reactions to the events (why so chill, there's a KILLER CAR after you dumbass) and chunks of dialogue were so inane that I had to belly laugh at them. Which brings me to my beefs with this honky-tonk bitch.
As I was watching HYBRID; something was off as to the characters and it actually took me a while to nail what it was. At first I thought it was the acting, then I thought maybe it was the dubbing and then the hamster in my little wheel woke up and downed a JD shot: it was the freaking dialogue that was off. The awful lines spat by our cast just didn't feel right and by result made the actors look silly and killed any credibility any of these “heroes” could've had. By default; I never managed to give a lick about them so when the flick would try to push some drama my way; it just evoked giggles. And what happens when you got heroes you don’t give a sprinkle of a crap about? Bye bye suspense. Every tension driven scene here fell flat on its hood. I was rooting for the car yo, urging it to off these imbeciles pronto so I could go grab a snack. And wait till you hear the exposition laced bit of dialogue that explained to us “what” the car is...wow... that was embarrassing! How about trying to cover up the fact that a character is speaking to the audience? Good exposition can't sound like exposition, not this blatantly anyways. Baaaaaad writing. And to be honest, after learning what it was, not knowing would have been better. I didn't crave a WHY as to what the car was; specially not the DUH one they gave us.
And what the hell was Oded Fehr smoking when he read the script and took this role? His character was the worst drawn out of them all. Somebody looked up 'irritating” in the dictionary and invented Fehr's part. A grating caricature of a grating caricature. And the fact that his accent would morph more often than the car from scene to scene definitely didn’t help me in buying or digging him in the role. Too bad, cause I usually love the dude and he is soooooo much better than this. Lastly the film's CGI was pretty low grade and the kills were surprisingly dry. I could show this movie to an 8 year old, and he wouldn't blink. You're making a B Movie with a morphing killer car that eats people, its your responsibility to swing that Ketchup bottle around! Come on!
Overall HYBRID was sometimes entertaining for the right and more often for the wrong reasons. Can you spell miss fire? Hybrid sure can!
Light blood here and there. That's it. Shame on you. This one was dryer than Betty White.
T & A
Ya see the headlights on that car?! And man, what a bumper... i.e. NATHING!
I knew a guy once, who loved his Jeep so much, that one night, drunk of his ass, he stuffed his muffler with Kleenexes and banged his Jeep. I am not shitting ya, he banged his Jeep! And I kind of felt like that poor Jeep after shot-gunning with HYBRID. Nifty initial premise, a handful of good action scenes and gnarly morphing bits aside; this one flunked. Awful dialogue, characters you don’t give a fudge about, no suspense, no gore and the usually amazing Fehr making a fool of himself for a paycheck. Come on guys! You're all better than this. See it if ya have a hardcore killer car fetish or are craving a so bad its good injection... or better yet, watch the badass THE CAR instead.
The flick was shot in Regina SQ, Canada.