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Decoys

“Decoys” starts off with a teenaged boy walking into a sorority house and finding several of his friends frozen to death. After an overacted moment that left me rolling my eyes (“OHMYGOD!! JESUS!!”), something wonderful happened: The opening credits appeared over a punk soundtrack and let me know the movie was not taking itself seriously, and neither should I.

The plot is sci-fi/horror cheese at its best: a group of uber-hot sorority girls turn out to be aliens who have run out of males to mate with on their planet. In order to further the species, they invade Ontario, Canada. Why? Because these aliens thrive in the cold, and “the people here are really nice.”

“North Shore” star Corey Sevier plays Luke, the one guy who knows what’s going on, but can’t get anyone to believe him. Meghan Ory plays his chick-buddy Alex, who’s secretly in love with him, but can’t get him to see how she really feels. And then there’s Luke’s roomie Roger, who just wants to get laid by someone; whether or not she has tentacles is irrelevant.

The cast is, for the most part, terrific. Ory is the incarnate of Sandra Bullock in her full on cute-as-hell-but-still-oozing-sex mode. Sevier keeps pace with her, and apparently patterns his character Luke after Johnny Depp in “A Nightmare On Elm Street”, which is appropriate because “Decoys” shares much of its plot points with that film. It also manages to pay obvious homage to “Animal House”, “John Carpenter’s The Thing”, and “The Stepford Wives.” I’m certain there are other references as well, and spotting them is part of the fun.

I don’t understand the backlash against this flick. Some people are genuinely bitter about it, and one poster on another message board angrily refers to it as a “Time-waster”, but that’s the point. Deceptive box art aside, that’s all “Decoys” aspires to be: a fun way to kill some time. It doesn’t have a ton of gore, but it does have some more traditional effects work, as well as some CGI that ranges from decent to fair. The flick is loads of fun, provided one takes it in the spirit in which it is intended.

Useless Comment: “Decoys” gained a full ½ point from me by featuring “I Will Love You”, a haunting, heartbreaking song by a then-unsigned band called Fisher. The song was originally intended for a sad scene during the Kevin Costner film “Message In A Bottle.” It never appeared in that film because the song is so depressing, that people were still crying when the credits rolled, so Costner replaced it with something more upbeat. It’s pretty out of place here, but I don’t care; it was great to have someone give it some respect.

Pros: Attractive cast. Fun plot. Doesn’t take itself seriously. Fairly tight script some great, funny dialogue. Wisely avoids becoming a “breastfest”.
Cons: Becomes a bit uneven toward the end. The ambulance scene goes too far over the top.
Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Belts of O’Fryin’ burning in the midnight sky.

Decoys” (2004)
95 Minutes; Canada
Rated R for sexuality and nudity.

Starring:
Corey Sevier (Luke)
Stefanie von Pfetten (Lilly)
Kim Poirier (Constance)
Elias Toufexis (Roger)
Meghan Ory (Alex)
Enis Esmer (Gibby)
Directed by: Matthew Hastings
Written by: Tom Berry, Matthew Hastings
Viewing Format: DVD

(Originally published on HorrorWatch)

About John Daily

John is a freelance writer, columnist and critic. His work has appeared in print, as well as on sites such as ScifiWatch and HorrorWatch (where he wrote under the complete meaningless moniker “Bloody Taco”). An archive of his film-related material is available at cinemaspin.wordpress.com. Currently, he can be found spouting his special brand of sarcastic nonsense at CigarHell.com or Twitter (JohnNDaily).

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