Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Progeny

directed by Brian Yuzna

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This uninspiring film tackles the theme of alien abductions with a story about a suspect pregnancy. Surgeon Craig Barton (Arnold Vosloo) and his wife Sherry (Jillian McWhirter) have been trying to conceive for years without success. So when she's finally with child it should be a cause for celebration.

However Craig can't shake the feeling that something strange happened on the night their child was conceived, when both of them lost a couple of hours that they can't account for. Craig is seeing a psychiatrist, and he explains his concerns about his wife's unusual pregnancy. He believes he was abducted by aliens. Craig persuades his wife to take part in hypnotic regression to get to the bottom of what happened, but it only appears to confirm his worst fears. But was the abduction real, or a figment of the couple's imagination?

Craig sets out to prove that his theories are correct by examining ultrasound images and enlisting the help of a Ufologist. He's afraid that there's some horror growing inside of his wife, and that her life's in danger. But all he seems able to prove is that he's unhinged. The race is on for the doctor to save his wife before the aliens pregnancy destroys her.

The special effects are just about acceptable for a movie made in 1999, which is to say they're not laughable. But they're hardly the main attraction. We're talking about the occasional tentacled probe and a few freaky rubber-faced creatures, but nothing that merits a lot of screen time. Instead a lot of the action centres around the hospital where Craig works and Sherry sees her gynaecologist.

Tension builds gradually as the doctor works out what he's going to do about the crisis. But Arnold Vosloo's acting isn't up to the demands of this role, because he doesn't come over as neurotic or jealous enough to make viewers doubt his motives. It's briefly suggested that the doctor could have been cuckolded by another man, but the film misses the opportunity to have any fun with this idea.

Progeny plods through its alien abduction plot slowly and predictably. Aubrey Solomon's script is flat and lifeless, and it lacks the jokes or poignancy that might lift it from the mire of being just another X-Files derivative. The story makes sense, but it's achingly dull because it doesn't seem to have any point beyond shocking the audience with gore and a few tentacles. This is a shallow movie with an unexciting cast, unspectacular effects and a story that didn't move me at all.

27th January 2011

Film Details

Decade: 1990s

Categories: Films

  Science fiction

Classification: 18

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The Dragon Chronicles: Fire and Ice cover    

The Dragon Chronicles: Fire and Ice by Pitof
Dragons terrorise a kingdom and a princess searches for a hero in this traditional high fantasy.



1 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson