STARRING: John Klemantaski, Darren
Kendrick, Glen Vaughan, Corey Landis, Larry Dirk, Danny Cameron, Elina Madison
2008, 84 Minutes, Directed by:
Tony Baez Milan
Bradbury’s Chrysalis is one of those movies that one desperately wants to
like, but simply doesn’t . . .
For starters it’s based a short
story by a bona fide science fiction master, namely Ray Bradbury. OK, that isn’t
particularly a guarantee for quality as anyone who has seen the travesty that
was A Sound of Thunder a couple of years back.
But whereas Sound of Thunder took endless liberties with Bradbury’s
source short story, Chrysalis is endlessly faithful to the original short story
and never dumbs the material at hand down. The only problem is that one often
wishes that it did!
Ultimately there is nothing
wrong with the movie’s premise and story. The surface world is an environmental
disaster and humanity is confined to underground shelters. Yup, we have sure
made a mess of things this time round! One scientist who has been
surreptitiously sneaking to the surface world without protective gear to see if
he can plant a tree starts getting sick. He falls into a coma and eventually it
seems that a chrysalis of some sort is forming around him.
It is obviously that underneath
it all the scientist is changing into something, but what is the
His hapless colleagues are
undecided as to what to do: kill him before he “hatches”, or wait and see what
happens? To complicate things one of the scientists brings in the military and
you can only guess what their solution to the problem would be . . .
The problem isn’t with the
story, but what he movie does with the story, which isn’t much.
It is let down by some bad
acting and cheap production values. Chrysalis is almost entirely set
inside an underground bunker, and the lack of budget means that the action is
never opened up much to the outside world. The dialogue might also be taken
verbatim from Bradbury’s short story, but it comes across as stilted and
unnatural. People may have sounded like this back in 1966 when the story was
written but they simply don’t really talk like this anymore. The editing is also
Ultimately though it feels like
someone filmed a community theatre play. The end result is on the dull and talky
side. One actually wishes that they had made a horror movie out of it instead of
a cerebral science fiction effort . . .