Writer: James Ojala (Screenplay)
Starring: Stephen Tobolowsky, Carlos Alazraqui, John Hennigan, Lisa Sheridan, Tiffany Shepis, David Mattey, Ann Hearn, Bruce Bohne, Faust Checho
Plot: The first film to expose unsolved wildlife deformity outbreaks and where they may lead.
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Suspenseful Sci-Fi Shocker
Story: Strange Nature starts when single mother Kim Sweet (Sheridan) returns home with her son Brody (Beres) to live with her father Chuck (Bohne) and it doesn’t take long before the locals start locating deformed frogs, which leads to Kim investigate just what is happening with the local wildlife.
Soon an unknown creature starts picking off the residents of the area which takes Kim’s investigation to the Mayor Paulson (Tobolowsky). Joined by local teacher Trent (Checho) we see how the species being deformed are evolving into deadlier animals showing they must stop the cause before it is too late.
Thoughts on Strange Nature
Characters – Kim Sweet was once a rising popstar whose life didn’t turn out the way she had planned, she finds herself a single mother returning home to care for her dying father, once home she gets to see just how bad the situation back home has become and must lead the fight to save the town from a threat causing deformities in its locals. Mayor Paulson is trying his best to keep everything under wraps in the town, to stop the people panicking even if he does have his own reasons for doing so. Sam is one of the locals who sticks with his kind, he doesn’t like people that are different only for it to become clear he isn’t even safe from the deformities himself. Trent is the closest to a scientist we have in this film, a school teacher that helps Kim with her investigation.
Performances – Lisa Sheridan in the leading role is strong through the film, we get to see her show the parental side, independent side and remains strong though the challenging subject matters. Stephen Tobolowsky always makes for a good political figure and this is no different, while John Hennigan brings us a different character we are used to seeing, a villainous one that fits the trouble maker in town. The rest of the cast are good through the film.
Story – The story here brings us to a small town which has started to get birth defecates on the first small animals soon becoming more serious and deadlier. This gives us the small-town community that begins to point fingers at what or who is causing everything going on, which of course brings moments of panic. The scientific side of the investigation is interesting because we do get to see different potential answers over the cause and by holding back on the biggest reveals and side effects we get to be left to see just how far up the evolution chain the defects will go. As we mostly follow a single mother we get to see extra protection and concern being shown, while other members of the town want to turn a blind eye to what is happening. The story does try to ask us the question about what we think about potential problems we might be causing to our environment and how the side effects could bring something terrible towards us.
Sci-Fi – The sci-fi side of this story comes from just showing us how the defects are affecting the environment, this is something we are seeing in real life, just this side goes that little bit further with everything.
Settings – The film is set in one small town, this brings us a sense of community which only makes us understand how tight knit the people are.
Special Effects – The Effects give us plenty of practical ones showing how different animals will look if they were to become deformed. They only make things look more disturbing through the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a sci-fi thriller that does ask questions, it holds back any big reveals until the final third of the film which keeps us guessing to just what we will be facing once the battle gets made clear and shows that pointing fingers never solves anything.
Overall: Sci-Fi for the thinkers.