‘The Becomers’ evaluate: the chaotic bodysnatchers film 2023 calls for

Have you ever heard the one about how aliens have infiltrated human society as a way to take over Earth with out us noticing? How they’ve slipped beneath the pores and skin of all types of parents, from new moms to well-known politicians, and they’re heck-bent on… uncovering the recipe for marmalade? Okay so Secret Invasion this ain’t. The Becomers, a sci-fi rom-com from Little Sister author/director Zach Clark, looks like what Jim Jarmusch’s deadpan contact may do with a Physique Snatchers remake.

Lowkey, beautiful, and determinedly lo-fi, these aliens’ antics touch upon the world they discover themselves stumbling by, which simply so occurs to be the bizarre and wacky one modern-day People inhabit. And it does so by burying its candy and tender romance below a very good dollop of gross-out Cronenbergian physique horror. There’s one thing right here for everyone!

What’s The Becomers about?

Credit score: Yellow Veil Footage

Principally, it’s Physique Snatchers instructed from the standpoint of the Snatchers themselves. The Becomers has that Eighties fish-out-of-water vibe wherein comedies like Cocoon and Splash traded. These slimy assimilators, as soon as below the pores and skin of their recent human vessels, have some wacky catching as much as do. And we watch them fail and flail as they maintain getting it mistaken, immersed in conditions that they weren’t fairly anticipating. 

Placing the fluid in “gender fluid,” the routine goes like this: the aliens drop down from the skies by way of their little pink whirligig spacecraft, they usually liquefy no matter unfortunate individual they cross paths with, rapidly adopting their visage by, , science or no matter. The film actually doesn’t get too hung up on the particulars, and neither must you. Some very transient backstory lays out the dying planet that they’ve come from, however The Becomers is extra involved with the immediately right here and proper now – with the weirdness of those weirdos regularly discovering themselves to be the least bizarre ones within the room.

So, after touchdown their spacecraft within the woods simply off the freeway, our major alien (names aren’t actually a factor on this story) first slips into the roadworker who noticed their ship land. However he’s no good – the alien wants a automobile to be cell. And what luck, there’s a younger girl pulled over on the aspect of the highway simply forward. The truth that she’s pulled over as a result of she’s actively giving start is just a quick distraction that the alien doesn’t appear too involved with. They’ve received locations to be, and infants could be dispatched simply sufficient. 

The issue is that each human being that the alien takes over additionally had locations to be. They’d lives that they had been in the midst of main once they had been so rudely interrupted by all this extraterrestrial chicanery. And aye that’ll be the rub as our alien steps into every individual’s sneakers for nonetheless lengthy they’re in there, attempting to move as human. Clark mines nice pressure and even higher humor from every too-close-for-comfort encounter, because the alien is pressured to seek out out what sort of individual they’re inhabiting, and what sort of terrible skeletons they’ve received of their closets…or basements.

There’s a darkish however giddy humor because the alien tries on recent our bodies just like the purchasing spree scene from Fairly Lady. The Becomers turns into episodic as its area invaders try to seek out that good match, pores and skin by pores and skin. We by no means realized how fortunate Julia Roberts was that she didn’t should vomit acid onto each Louboutin that was too large or small as a way to dissolve its carcass. Not till now, anyway! That will’ve been a really completely different film. It might have been this one, in actual fact.

Acid baths apart, each night time, regardless of how outrageous the circumstances that they discover themselves in, the alien goes open air and calls out an odd sound into the darkness. A type of music, which we ultimately discover out is the alien’s model of Daniel Day-Lewis’ “I’ll discover you!” speech from The Final of the Mohicans. As a result of it seems that the alien’s life associate can also be on the market someplace amongst humanity, in some random human type as effectively – additionally wandering, additionally in search of their associate in return. 

Separated by unimaginable distances and occasions past our pea-brained comprehension, it seems that every one these interstellar lifeforms are in search of is their one real love. Everyone collectively now – awww!

The Becomers‘ extraterrestrials are so additional.

However that is hardly a re-do of the heteronormative Earth Women Are Straightforward. Not when gender is totally meaningless to this species, who insist on retaining a moist, leaking side-hole on their human-seeming exteriors. One the place all types of gunky sexual shenanigans will go down, and ultimately gifting us with what could be the weirdest intercourse scene on-screen since Crew America.

As soon as our actually star-crossed lovers lastly do get reunited, the longest passage of the movie finds our lead alien taking over the type of Little Sister actress Molly Plunk (a singular delight who profoundly will get the project), whereas her lover is first performed by Jacquelyn Haas after which by Mike Lopez (All Jacked Up and Stuffed with Worms) as their our bodies betray them by a collection of mishaps. However even because the our bodies and actors and side-holes maintain altering, we maintain monitor of who’s who as a result of one alien’s eyes glow pink whereas the opposite’s glow blue – little question one other sly nod towards the deconstruction of gender constructs at all times scribbling within the movie’s margins.

However as queer because the physique snatchers and their acid-barfing escapades are, nothing fairly prepares them for the queerness of humanity itself. Because the aliens discover and lose and discover each other again and again, we grow to be witness to how actually outlandish our personal proclivities would appear when seen from barely askance. 

Throughout the final act, as politics and cults and Fb-radicalized suburbanite Satanists begin inching into the body, it turns into clear that it is a satire of our actually absurd second as a lot because the 1956 Physique Snatchers film was a lacerating takedown of McCarthyism. Every era will get the Physique Snatchers it deserves, and 2023 deserves chaos. The Becomers brings it in buckets.

The Becomers was reviewed out of Fantasia Worldwide Movie Competition 2023.