Take eight random individuals. Sign them up for clinical trials involving a mystery drug and lock them in a room for eight hours. The twist? The drug gives the test subjects super powers…deadly super powers. Sounds like a good movie premise, right?
Well, I suppose if done well it could be. As far as The Subjects goes, the “funny” parts fall flat and the horror leans more towards hilarity.
The film opens with a faux commercial touting the testing corporation’s stance as the Future of Science. Not a bad opening in theory, but in practice the sequence was too long, leaving this viewer wondering when the real movie was going to start.
Enter the subjects: Devin, Jenna, Lilly, Giggles, Phil, Corey, Nikki, and John. Here we have an assortment of stereotypes at various ends of the spectrum, sure to conflict with each other. There’s the businessman, the modern-day Valley Girl, the quiet and reserved Asian, the tattooed ex-con, the nobody, the flake, the stuck-up bitch, and the con man. Yes, they should all get along swimmingly.
The argument over whether or not they should all take the pill is as drawn-out as the opening commercial, and twice as contrived. It goes on much longer than it needs to, and the dialogue is stilted and boring. Sure, there are a few moderately amusing quips sprinkled throughout, but I was so distracted by wanting them to get moving already that I couldn’t manage more than a half-hearted chuckle at best.
There were a couple of points, though, that had me caught up in full-blown knee-slapping belly laughter–the first two character deaths, to be exact. However, I think the “gore” was meant to frighten more than entertain.
The blood effects were classic B-horror splashes and spurts, but I will give the special effects team credit for the stunning lighting effects associated with the super powers. It was a little incongruous juxtaposed next to the slasher flick gore, but brilliant nonetheless.
Effort was made to insert drama and tension, but it fell short for me. I didn’t feel a change of pace at all throughout the film and thus it felt as though the entire movie dragged at the same snail’s pace as the in-faux-mercial.
All-in-all, I give it a solid C+. The production values were, for the most part, quite good, and the lighting was superb. They just get bogged down in the rest of it.