In the current state of horror we as viewers have had the unfortunate abuse of terrible CGI in filmmaking. Even many indie films are guilty of this. So when I found out about The Millennium Bug being free of CGI blood and CGI monsters I am sold. Being an independent release I was very reluctant of how good it could be. My first hope is that the money is in the effects and I was glad to see it was.
The plot is simple it is New Years Eve on Y2K. Which if you remember there was the whole computer scare thing that people thought would bring society to a halt. In here there is a monster set to emerge and wreak havoc amongst us meager humans. A family is camping and eventually is captured by a backwoods family near their campsite. Of course this backwoods family is trying to breed/rape/ marry whatever woman they can find. The "Bug' comes along and mixes things up a bit.
Within the first 15 minutes of the film we get our first glimpse of practical effects. They sure do test your stomach power in one of the firstís scenes. It is too good to ruin it for you in this review so I will just refer to it as the "birth" scene. It looks fantastic albeit gruesome its still is good. This got me excited and wondering "What are they going to throw at me next?" You can expect gunshot blasts and axes to the head to follow.
The movie seems to have been made for 2 reasons. The first is just to show that practical effects still can be done right. One of my favorite scenes is when the "Bug" is eating someone. Itís chomping down on the person and we get to see its teeth just getting down to business. I was surprised on how large the bug actually was. I thought it would be smaller because it would seem to be a pain in the ass to make it this size practically. This movie has some pretty damn gory scenes that seem all too real at times. It is not to the point that it makes you queasy or anything. It is just enough to make the point that this is not CGI.
The second reason is just for fun. What is wrong with a fun bloody, silly and, bug movie? The answer is nothing at all. It never seems to take itself too seriously it knows that it is not in the running for an Oscar. This movie brought back memories of old black and white sci fi movies with crazy monsters that I watched as a kid. And I couldn't help but keep a smile on my face as I sat through it.
This is by all means the definition of a low budget film being done right. They took what they had and made it look like it was bigger budget film. The only negative that some might see is a couple of green screen shots in the film. This was done because the entire movie was shot in a 600 square foot warehouse. At least I believe that is what the director told us at the screening. It had to be done because it needs some scenes to be on a larger scale. This in no way took me out of the movie. In fact I was more impressed by what they did with such limited space.
So I suggest seeking this one out for anyone that likes low budget films and practical effects done right. I hope this crew gets to make some more movies because of its dedication for no CGI. The Millennium Bug is a shining light at the end of the tunnel in this CGI filled movie craze. One thing is for sure I will be keeping my eye on these guys for future projects. And the next time someone asks me what I think about CGI vs. practical effects. You can guarantee this movie will come up in the conversation.