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Review: Chupacabra Territory



Review

Step right into ‘Chupacabra Territory’ courtesy of Maltauro Entertainment.

‘Chupacabra Territory’, Matt McWilliam’s latest feature treads familiar ‘found footage’ ground, this time in the search for the mythical ‘Goat Sucker’.

As fans of found footage have become somewhat used to by now the film starts off with a scene setter which states that the following footage was found when a group of young and hopefuls – in this case 3 blokes and a girl – go in search of the creature known as the Chupacabra; naturally we get to see the footage they documented before their demise.

At the start of the film we are introduced to the group, an outgoing, fun loving set of people with a shared obsession for finding the beast. They pick up some tell-tale signed that a ‘Chup’ (a shortened nickname pronounced choop) is in the area, the usual things like gentiles removed from animals, people reporting mutilations and attacks and of course, a police cover-up. Ignoring all warnings and without reservation the group head on into the zone armed with their cameras, a scrap book which serves as the authority on everything Chupacabra and a bottle of racoon urine to bait the creature.

Once in the zone we are treated to the usual found footage treatment. Plenty of babble about the creature, its traits and habits – and of course plenty of hype that anything even remotely suspicious absolutely must be related to the monster’s presence. There are even some interesting little anatomical facts regarding the methods which the chup ensnares its victims. The part, which I will admit I normally dread from such films was refreshingly fun. The characters are likable and there is a definite tongue in cheek theme going down throughout the film. The naysayer of the group in-particular gets some good lines in.

Now when darkness descends, and we all know what that means and things perhaps don’t quite work out as well as the group intends. Initially there are some nicely tense scenes, which albeit don’t ever reach anything too horrific in either content or the predicable jump scares, but they do enough to give you a nice sense of things to keep you satisfied. Again, the film plays a safe hand, with the scares coming in the predicable guise of weird noises (amplified to the ear shredding levels) and figures staring from the darkness. There are also some nice kill scenes which add a welcome helping of crimson to the otherwise dusty yellow tinged pallet which dominates the rest of the films cinematography.

Sadly, in its final half an hour, this film suffers in the same way many of its peers also do.

Now I will insert a disclaimer here, this is just my opinion as a 33-year-old horror fan, but I feel that there simply is just not enough scope to sustain a 90minute running time and by the end of the movie, despite its efforts, I thought it was grasping at straws to keep the viewers’ attention. It doesn’t do any better or worse than the myriad of other found footage films but considering the strong start it was a shame to see. There is nothing particularly poor regarding the way the scenes are put together, but it just throws quite a few left field ideas out there without hitting them home, or indeed concerning itself with any form of continuity.

Overall though, despite some bizarre plot choices in the third act I do feel that this is a perfectly watchable monster/found footage mash-up. I enjoyed the premise, got on well with the characters and thought the action sequences were nicely choreographed. If you are intrigued give it a go, it would be great to hear your opinions regarding the odd ending!

 

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