VOD Releases: Gray Matter (2018) - Reviewed

Matchbox Pictures bring us a sci-fi/ action film written and directed by Greg A. Sager, responsible for The Devil in Me (2012) and Kingdom Come (2014). As the title suggests, the film concerns alien abduction and invasion subjects, but with a little twist you might not expect. Alys Crocker (Tapped Out 2014) leads the cast as the reluctant champion, and she is supported well by Tara Elizabeth (Divine Emnity 2012), while the threat pushes forward all over Rockford, Illinois, where the earthly conflict is set.

Friendly alien forces crash land on Earth, trying to intervene as another alien race wages war against humanity. Blatantly using human hosts to infest the world a la Body Snatchers, one breed of alien life form is only perturbed by Grays, who fight to defend Earth against the invasion. Referring to the synopsis, Grays had been landing on Earth since the ‘40s to study humans, but when a meteorite crash delivers the parasites to our planet, the Grays elect to use humans in order to stop this malevolent presence before it is too late. It is this battle that the film comprises of - entirely.

While the premise is promising, Gray Matter concentrates too much on the fight and not enough on the soldier, so to speak. With very little dialogue, the viewer feels disconnected from the movie in that we cannot relate to any of the characters. I had to look up the lead character’s name, because Annabelle is not addressed or explored much before the film starts heating up. Where we do have dialogue, and not exactly delivered believably, the score unfortunately drowns most of it.

The film is very well-paced and moves along nicely without leaving you wanting to check your e-mails, mostly. Well executed action scenes will hold your attention and some of the featured fine physiques lend a more glamorous edge to the scenes, especially where the storytelling dwindles. If you want a ‘Terminator’ sort of experience, without too much concentration on characters or story, Gray Matter will satisfy you greatly.

Clearly, the budget is well utilized for proper and believable sets and effects. Even the CG is pleasant where it is used. The score fits the subject matter and scenes perfectly, although there is too much of it in places where silence would have allowed for a bit more suspense. There is not much of a story progression and the whole film kind of goes nowhere in the way of depth, but as a whole the decent production, good score and delightful action pace saves the day.

Gray Matter will not impact your sci-fi favorites list, but it is an enjoyable film with a pleasant aftertaste. 

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-Tasha Danzig