M.L. Miller here! Because you and I love the horror so much, I’ve decided to post a “Worth Noting” pick along with each of my “Best of the Best in Horror 2018” choices each day through October. The same rules apply. The film must have been released before September 30th, 2018 to the masses (no festival picks). This means that is available to view in theaters, On Demand, DVD/BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films.
How did I compile this list? Some of these films have similar themes to their counterparts in the main countdown. Some just missed the countdown by an inch or two. Others were just squozed in because there’s nothing like them out there. Horror is such a broad and varied genre that sometimes, while these choices may not represent the best—something about the film is worth taking notice to and that’s what this series of posts represent. I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Worth Noting – ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M. 1!
Here’s a sci fi film laced with tension and paranoia that you most likely missed this year, but it is a really solid low fi flick. ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M. 1 is an intense character study where one man is set to be on the front lines of an invasion and the horrors of solitude and loneliness that goes along with that assignment. It’s a rock solid film and worth checking out. You can find ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M. 1 from Gravitas Ventures on iTunes and Amazon here!
ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M. 1 (2017)
Directed by Christian Pasquariello
Written by Christian Pasquariello, Gabrielle Pfeiffer
Starring Iwan Rheon, André Hennicke, Rainer Werner, Zoe Grisedale, Niels-Bruno Schmidt, Tim Williams, Lesley Suzanne Dean, & Doc the Rat!
Find out more about this film here
Christian Pasquariello delivers a potent and powerful little sci fi descent into madness tale set on a future world overwhelmed by alien invaders in ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M. 1.
GAME OF THRONES and INHUMANS’ Iwan Rheon plays a good guy for a change in this low level sci fi film. Here he plays S.U.M.1, a soldier in the resistance against an invading alien armada called the “Nonesuch” which has forced humanity to take shelter underground as they murder, poison, and destroy any human in their path. Still, there is a resistance and S.U.M 1 is part of a unit that mans a watchtower close on the perimeter of the battlezone. S.U.M.1 is assigned to stay 100 days alone in this watchtower, checking in regularly with homebase and trying not to die of boredom. But when security cameras begin to go out and movement is detected in the periphery, S.U.M.1 begins questioning just what the “Nonesuch” is, if they really exist, and what happened to the soldier he replaced. Befriending a little white rat, S.U.M.1 tries his best to hold on to his sanity with the world going crazy around him.
This is a one-man show style film and it’s a fantastic one at that. Rheon is superb as S.U.M.1, a reflection of what humanity has become after the “Nonesuch” has invaded—robotic, emotionless, and focused on surviving. We watch him go through the banal routine for quite a few days of his tour of duty in the watchtower before the action really begins and Rheon, though he is rather a blank slate with his bleach blonde hair and white irises (because the humans have been living underground for a lifetime), allows enough humanity in to make the viewer like him. As the time goes on, and S.U.M.1’s loneliness creeps in, even more of that humanity shows up, making the soldier’s plight all the more arduous to witness.
Now, there is a lot of metaphor going on here. With names like S.U.M.1 and Nonesuch, it’s not that hard to see what kind of message Pasquariello is going for as he shows no man is an island and sometimes the lack of a threat is more threatening than one right in one’s face. This film tackles the horror of solitude with some fantastically paced and tension-filled scenes of S.U.M.1 leaving the watchtower and skirting the limits of his post. The monster aliens themselves are not really important here. The true battle going on in ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M.1 is the one going on in the soldier’s head. There is some grueling action scenes and a good amount of suspense as S.U.M.1 inches closer to the truth. I was involved all the way through, mainly due to some clever writing and directing and the impressive performance by Rheon. Reminiscent of MOON, those of you who like your sci fi simple will definitely want to put this on your must see list.
WORTH NOTING SO FAR…
David Moscow’s DESOLATION
ARE WE NOT CATS
GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM
NIGHT OF THE VIRGIN
AMERICAN GUINEA PIG: SONG OF SOLOMON
THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES
SAM WAS HERE
ALIEN INVASION: S.U.M. 1
M. L. Miller is an original AICN @$$Hole formerly known as Ambush Bug/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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Don’t forget to share and like and finally, Happy Horror Holiday Month to Everyone!