Strange Nature (2018) Poster

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Creepy...Disturbing But in a Good Way.
Impartial-Critic2 April 2020
A Lil Indie fun revolves around a mother and son who move to a small town to live with her father, comes across a serious of disturbing mutations in the area which doesn't only affect the wild life in the area but may also threatens the town residents.

Strange Nature is a small budget horror which means some cheap visual effects are to be expected! Yet putting this fact aside while having a proper plot, cinematography and directing Strange Nature can be described as an enjoyable fun - yet sometimes creepy - experience that takes you back in a journey to the 80s creature horror flicks.

I give the filmmaker props for being self aware about the major social humanity and environmental crises we are facing almost daily in our society, from nature poisoning to general prejudice and ending up with the condescend look to whoever is different which exposes the hypocrisy shell of being called, civilized humans. Strange nature is all these components added together in an odd yet fun mix bowl of mutated animals, humans, weird behaviors and creature feature horror.
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8/10
My Review Of "Strange Nature"
ASouthernHorrorFan9 October 2018
"Strange Nature" sets up an eco-horror with classic tropes, exaggerated outcomes, and a sense environmental awareness that culminate in a nicely passed creature feature. The film is reminiscent of the classic 70's nature nightmare "The Prophecy" and a heavy dose of 80's terror "The Curse". The story is as poignant today as similar films in years past. Probably more so since it seems everyone in charge is either asleep at the wheel and lacking oversite.

Anyway James Ojala does well with his first feature. He creates a community filled with characters that you like, or you hate. Either way you become invested. At times the story does seem to lag a little but not in the "I'm bored" sense. Just that there is a lot of story and drama unwrapped in "Strange Nature". I almost forgot it was a true horror movie until the horror happened. You get bits of the creature feature nightmare as the story builds, but the climax to the real nightmare is stellar.

The special effects and horror elements are quality. The mutations , the atmosphere and the actual creature design all are done nicely, kudos to Ojala. Those scenes where we see the effects, are realistic, graphic moment of awesomeness. The settings and music score are somewhat basic but work well with everything else happening.

Overall "Strange Nature" is a great creature feature drama. For full throttle action horror fans, this film will fall short. But it is worth watching. The story is full bodied, with classicly cool characters. The message is timeless and plays a bit as an homage to eco-horrors from the 70's. Plus the overall watch is entertaining.
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2/10
What Hollywood thinks about flyover
bobbywell8 March 2019
First: I found it interesting that all the 8/9/10 all come in one cluster and all single review profiles. I don't recall hearing about this "true life event". It may have happened. This trope has been done better. However the film is what we are here to talk about. For having several known stars and assumably a decent enough budget. The production values were worse than most of the stuff on the SciFi channel. The horror is the acting and writing. Save yourself don't waste your time.
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7/10
Could have been so much better but for the very last scene
jenneration17 October 2018
This only had a rating of about 5 when I watched it. I was bemused at the extremely low score because the movie had some strong acting performances with the main female lead and her father. Decent script and cinematography. Also a quite heartwarming and engaging sub plots involving deformed residents and eventually a red neck showdown.

I didn't actually realise this was meant to be a full blown horror movie until the end. It was a decent environmental conspiracy film that I thought was based on real events. I would have scored the movie as an 8 but for one appallingly bad final scene that was just completely out of place with the rest of the film and ruined its credibility for me. I wont spoil it but it was a cheap shock tactic right at the end. I can't believe none of the writing or production crew said "No" to that because it was so ridiculous.

Anyway, definitely worth a watch.
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4/10
Strange movie
gilleslagae4 October 2018
This is one of those movies that's on the left side of the parabolic curve of the rating of movies. So bad that it becomes good again. Watch this with a few friends and beers and you'll have a great night.

Ridiculous conversations, really bad special effects, and awkward acting are this movie's core elements. The story line is simple and apprehensible, the events happening around it are not. But this is not a movie to reason or think about. If logic is a problem, it means you're just not drunk enough yet.
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10/10
GREAT!
merakikosmos27 June 2020
Surprisingly fresh and endearing. While most films of this nature adhere to cheap gimmicks and a one track mindset, Mr. Ojala's creative vision somehow finds a way to weave Comedy, Romance, Suspense, Mystery, and Horror in an enrapturing adventure that keeps you hooked until the last minute.
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8/10
Movie Review: "Strange Nature" Is a Wonderful Mix of Morals and Mutations
treespaz21 October 2018
While watching "Strange Nature", a horror/thriller with a description that mentions mutated frogs, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that this movie was more than just cheap visual thrills you'd find in a B grade horror film. There was an actual message here, and a pretty good one, that involved a few plot twists and some solid acting performances.

The story revolves around Kim Sweet (Lisa Sheridan) and her son Brody (Jonah Beres) as they return home to a small town in Minnesota to live/care for Kim's father Chuck (Bruce Bohne) who has cancer. Kim experienced fleeting fame as a pop start back in the day and that part of her past, along with her less than stellar relationship with her father, makes coming home a bitter pill to swallow.

However, it doesn't take long for Kim to stumble upon some bizarre things going on with the local wildlife and as she investigates, she finds it's more serious and widespread than anyone realizes. She has difficulty getting the local townspeople to believe her, her past pop reputation makes people believe she is just looking for attention, and even Mayor Paulson (played by the always wonderful Stephen Tobolowsky) pushes her concerns aside. So she begins digging deeper and really, this is where the movie gets interesting.

The story takes the over used plot device of little guy versus the big, bad corporation and twists it a few times, leaving the viewers scratching their collective heads in terms of what exactly is going on. Writer and director James Ojala does a good job in mixing up the story and keeping it moving at a good pace, especially in the first half where there is a lot more talking than there is bloodshed.

There is a nice build up in the gore as well, first introducing the mutations, then the killings until we have the big showdown at the end. There are some nasty visual bits, not just with animals but newborn babies as well, so people with weak stomachs in that regards have now been officially warned. They manage to pull off the effects pretty well, with quick camera shots and even quicker acts of violence, to cover up anything that might look too fake.

The actors are solid, especially Lisa Sheridan as Kim, who does the haunted kid returning to small-town America routine very well. She sells her character with ease, making her investigation into what's going on seem more plausible. Also, Stephen Tobolowsky is great as the mayor, giving him many different shades for the audience to ponder as we try and figure out if he's going to be helpful or if he's been in on what's going on the whole time.

There are a few times during the movie where things don't work so well. The first forty minutes or so is heavy on story, which is asking a lot for an audience who is most likely made up of fans from the mutant frog side of the genre pool. Also, some interactions between certain characters don't work and the bad boys in town part of the story could probably have been cut back or cut out completely.

That being said, there was a lot to like in "Strange Nature", which surprised me on more than one occasion with the twists in the story. Mutations and morals have never looked better together, leaving me satisfied and eager to encourage others to check out this solid film.
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3/10
First?
troyinskeep6 December 2018
No, it isn't the first to explore this. Prophecy did in 1979 Starting Talia Shire andvArmabde Asante. And it is a whole lot better.
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2/10
Heavy handed with the agenda.
jumpchump-7736214 March 2019
This movie starts off with a west coast liberal elitist view of the midwest, or "fly over" states, which is superficial and very unflattering. The director uses a child as his vessel to express disgust with guns and rural Americans writ large. Then we get the environmentalism agenda crammed down our throat for the next 75 minutes. I put up with it for the monster portions, but that was a let down. If you are a leftist with a high tolerance for schlock, you'll be able to nod in agreement with the agenda while enjoying terrible special effects and garbage acting. Then again if that describes you, you will watch anything as long as you have the volume loud enough to drown out the sound of your wife getting pounded by Jamarcus on your side of the bed.
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2/10
2 stars for effort...
brockfay2 September 2019
Bad acting...even worse special effects. Not the worst movie I've seen....
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7/10
We are animals that live near water.
nogodnomasters10 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Kim Sweet (Lisa Sheridan) child pop star who lip-syncs, returns to Minnesota with her son (Jonah Beres) to care for her dad (Bruce Bohne) with liver cancer. Ya, with an outhouse. She is not well loved as she dissed the town in an interview as a teen. While in town, she investigates the mass amount of mutations and has sex with her son's teacher who explains the origin of the issue.

The film was inspired by real ecological events. It was weak as a horror story, but the film did have some good characters and I had a LOL during the awkward dinner where the main course was a spam treat. Tiffany Shepis had her name on the credit screen longer than she was in the film. You had to like Larry "skunk slayer" Roger (Justen Overlander). Want to try on a costume? And dad, who was down to earth, "You think I like killing puppies?"

Guide: F-word. Brief sex. No nudity.
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10/10
AWESOME MOVIE!!
jennym-2874528 May 2020
My first review for any movie. I felt compelled to write a review due to the fact that there is alot of negative reviews.I paid for this movie and it was absolutely worth it. 80's like movie and also based on true events. The movie is not really about frogs but mutation of different animals, the frogs are just first to be noticed mutating. Great horror flick!
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5/10
Monster Nature
kosmasp4 December 2020
It is really trying as another reviewer already stated. And while I've seen better monster movies, I've also seen worse. So this is ok, if you don't mind the low budget nature of it. No pun intended here. Also a very nice turn up from a horror actress who almost just does a cameo in this. Her acting with the camera, without anything being there (literally) is quite funny. I know it is supposed to be scary, but yeah ... well at least something I would say.

There are some nice effects though and the characters are overall likeable. Even the ones you wouldn't think are ok ... or decent. The action ramps up towards the end with some nice (gore effects) ... and then there is a twist at the end ... a good one or too obvious? I'll leave that up to you ... remember though there is a bonus scene after the credits (fyi)
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4/10
Fails on account of the inferior special effects.
johannes2000-19 November 2020
The premise (animals mutating to freaky monsters due to poisonous pollution) is far from original, but the story that they made up around this premise is actually not that bad. But unfortunately the quality of the special effects is way below par. The freaky little frogs may seem pretty realistic (maybe they actually were real?), but the disfigured people and the monsters are in no way convincing, it seems mainly like handcrafted make-up, which in this day and age of hight-tech CGI make this movie look like it's made somewhere around the seventies.

It's a bit of a waist of all the well-meant turmoil and excitement in the script. And also of actress Lisa Sheridan who really does a great job (and is beautiful to boot!), and of Jonah Beres who convincingly and very natural plays her little son. And it's always a pleasure to see Stephen Tobolowsky. But these three cannot save this third-rate horror-flick from mediocrity.
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8/10
A Fun Eco-horror Flick.
trebilco-0224317 August 2020
Well-acted, great effects, good characters - I actually love this movie. Brings to mind classics like Prophecy and Long Weekend.
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9/10
Entertaining Creature Feature
kmerlkey16 August 2020
Strange Nature is billed as an eco-thriller, but its strong roots is in your class creature features like Anaconda, The Thing, or Black Sheep.

Kim Sweet, a failed pop star that degraded her hometown, returns to her dad's home with her son Brody and quickly discovers that the neighboring wildlife is mutating as the result of untested chemicals being used on local crops. Meanwhile, one of these mutant beasts has begun attacking and killing some of the locals.

The film features great creature effects by director and effects rockstar Jim Ojala. It also boast some surprising performances by Stephen Tobolowsky, John Hennigan, and Faust Checho.

If you enjoy spending your weekends watching SyFy, Shudder, or classic horror dvd's then give it a view and you won't be disappointed.
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8/10
Had me thinking for weeks!
wallywingertmail16 January 2019
While this film is a lot of fun on its mutated face (and a very enjoyable popcorn movie) it does get you to think. Could this really happen, given all that we know about the way our world is being polluted and carelessly treated?

While we may not soon see mutated frog people walking down the aisles at Walmart, it does raise the question about just how safe our precious water resources really are. And since we as humans are made up mostly of water, this is a troublesome quandary.

Jim Ojala ambitiously takes on the monstrous task of writing, directing, casting, producing, and doing make-up effects for his labor of love. You can see his love for this project in every frame. This stuff isn't easy to do, folks. In fact, it's damn hard! But the final result was beautiful, in a sort of "mutant-frog" kind of way.

For weeks after I kept thinking about what I had seen. I had questions and tried to reconcile those in my mind. It's not one of those "in-your-ear-out-your-ear" kind of films. It WILL make you think! And I LOVED the old recluse/dad character!
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10/10
Strange Nature Review
tylerbradberry15 January 2019
I am a huge fan of practical effects and Jim Ojla is a true artist. The topics in the film are relevant and current. Great work for an independent.
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1/10
Zzzzzzzzzzz
raytedex-931-75513230 November 2019
BORRRRRRRING Bad acting, boring as all hell. Waited for some 'Good Parts' but there were none.
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9/10
"Strange Nature" has more to offer then horror
HabibovichArmin18 January 2019
Really connected with the story and characters in this film. I love a great movie with story-lines that could be completely separate movies on their own. This story has plenty of blood but brings you from plain horror to a disturbing drama real quick and definitely made me uncomfortable a few times, it's a good experience.
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10/10
Not as far from strange as one might think
primetines6 March 2019
Watching the movie I find many things very much over exaggerated. I live less than an hour from the Duluth area and the first obvious exaggeration is that it's not how rural small town living is like. More obvious than that is toward the end with the double headed wolves, Hollywood can get crazy & out of hand with some of this s***.

However what I found a stranger was that after viewing the movie I attempted to look up this American Patriot company using several methods. No matter what you type in, no matter what search engine you may use you will only find three things regarding American Patriot company... NO Facebook page, NO website, not much of anything. Kind of strange huh? One of the three things that did come up was EPA aporoval forms for the herbicides, just as it showed in the movie. Which proves that the company American Patriot is in business and a legitimate company. After doing the research I truly believe something is being covered up here. And that it is sick that such a possible legitimate thing is being allowed to be covered up. This should be looked into more and I do appreciate the movies existence.
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4/10
Could have been so much more...
paul_haakonsen31 October 2019
I got the chance to sit down and watch the 2018 movie "Strange Nature" here late in 2019. And since I wasn't even familiar with the movie and the fact that it is a horror movie, of course I did sit down to watch it.

Well, first of all I must say that the movie does have potential. Just a shame that writer and director James Ojala didn't really fully utilize all the potential that was readily available with the storyline. I mean, the movie starts out alright and is sort of interesting, but then it just settles into mediocrity and doesn't really recover.

And for a horror movie, then the end result that is "Strange Nature" wasn't really much of anything impressive. Sure, the movie is watchable, but it is hardly a memorable movie, nor is it a movie that offers enough contents to support more than a single viewing - if you even get through it the first time around.

The acting in the movie was adequate, but don't get your hopes up for anything particularly outstanding.

The effects in the movie were, well, a mixed blessing. Some of the special effects, particularly the animal effects were actually quite good. But on the other hand, the effects on the people's faces was an eyesore and it looked so god-awful fake that even a blind person would stop and object.

"Strange Things" is adequate enough if you have nothing more interesting on your to-watch-list. But this is hardly a shining gem in the horror cinema.
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9/10
STRANGE! GOOD! GORY! A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!
dizzrusso11 October 2019
You know I read a lot of mixed reviews about this movie but I really enjoyed this. Perhaps it's not for everyone, but what movie is? For me, this movie is a throwback, to some of the 70's, 80's and 90's horror movies that I grew up watching. Director James Ojala, (The Mad Scientist behind this movie) has created a masterpiece of for the horror genre, filled with good performances, practical effects, blood (lots of blood) and an interesting story line. What happens when you take a little from the movie The Prophecy (not the one with Christopher Walken) and a little from Wrong Turn and then a pinch from Alligator? Strange Nature, that's what! I'll let you guys go and MU-TANT-ON-IT for awhile. Enjoy!
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6/10
Worth the watch
foxtrotmarie12 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The plot was great up until the end (I'll get to that), the acting was decent, the effects were the right kind of cheesy and gore, the message was extremely important and they gave it to us in a way that kept you interested the entire time. The characters were pretty filled out and the pace was not too fast nor too slow. All in all an excellent movie that mixed entertainment with real world issues wonderfully.

The only issue I had was that the plot, while set up great, doesn't really go anywhere. We finally see what the big 'monster,' is and then the rest of the movie following that scene doesn't mention them on the news or anywhere which is interesting as the missing people the monsters took were constantly mentioned before we saw them. Likewise the movie sets up great, 'look at the deformed offspring oh also they kill their mothers in terrible ways,' but then the most closure we get on that is they mention it on the news. And that is about it. No removing people from the area, no keeping new people from entering the area, no mention on if the chemicals or parasites or anything were figured out. Nothing, it builds up a main plotline with a bunch of side paths and leaves all of them hanging. The ending scene as well is a mixed review. It was great shock value when you see her, 'normal,' newborn and a heartwarming moment of big brother meets baby sister with apparently nobody noticing her large birth defect, but that means mommy is gonna die soon just like the others. Since she was there for those wouldn't she be a little worried?

Worth the watch but expect to be left with questions and annoyed. Would have been a 10 if it had closed up the plot.
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10/10
Finally An Indie Horror Film With Good Acting!
Milesofmonsters27 August 2019
Honestly most indie horror films... or just low budget genre films in general have crap acting which is one of the reasons that sub-genre gets a bad rap. I was a little leery about this but a friend saw it when it played the theater in Glendale, CA and recommended it. The music, FX, cinematography were all pretty stellar but the acting really stood out to me. I can't believe the lead, Lisa Sheridan, hasn't been in more starring roles. Really held her own especially alongside the incomparable Stephen Tobolowsky!
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