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They Look Like People (2015)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 26 February 2016 (USA)
Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.


Perry Blackshear
9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
MacLeod Andrews ... Wyatt
Evan Dumouchel ... Christian
Margaret Ying Drake ... Mara
Mick Casale Mick Casale ... Psychiatrist
Elena Greenlee Elena Greenlee ... Sandy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laura Ambrose Laura Ambrose ... Co-worker
Ben Blackshear Ben Blackshear ... Hipster
Perry Blackshear ... Polish Guy
Julia Guo Julia Guo ... Kat (voice)
Amaani Hamid Amaani Hamid ... Girl at Work
Jessie Kim Jessie Kim ... Hannah (voice)
Sang Wook Kim Sang Wook Kim ... Co-worker
Matt Lawrence Matt Lawrence ... Co-worker
Eric Ohrt Eric Ohrt ... Man in Subway
Carlos Palacio Carlos Palacio ... Co-worker


In New York, the shy Christian likes his boss Mara but is afraid to ask her out on a date. When he stumbles upon his old friend Wyatt who is passing through New York, Christian invites him to stay in his apartment. Christian is not aware of the impending doom Wyatt believes is about to befall humanity, as the people Wyatt cares most about turn into evil creatures. The war between humans and these creatures is close, and Wyatt will have to decide who he can trust to survive. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Did You Know?


When Christian is listening to his self-help tape at work, after Wyatt meets with Dr. Calvino in the park, he looks at an online article entitled, "How to be a Friend Indeed to a Friend In Need." The article is written by Dr. Bob Dobbelina, PhD. Bob Dobbelina is a name repeated over in a song by The Monkees called "Zilch." It is later sampled by Del Tha Funky Homosapien in his song "Mista Dobalina" on the "I Wish My Brother George Was Here" album (produced by his cousin, Ice Cube). See more »


In the reflection of the window of the hardware store that Wyatt walks into, you can see Evan Dumouchel watching the filming of the scene. This takes place at 26min 50sec. See more »


Christian: I don't believe what you believe but I know you believe it. So just be honest with me, and you have to promise me not to kill anyone, okay?
See more »

User Reviews

The rise of 'Buddy Horror'
15 June 2019 | by screenotesSee all my reviews

There is a sub-genre of Horror which IMDB calls "Alien Infiltration" and a cursory keyword search of 'the database' suggests it is a potentially rich yet largely untapped theme. Notable entrants include Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and its various remakes as well as the much loved yet now quite dated John Carpenter film They Live (1988). Carpenter's film was based on Ray Nelson's very short story Eight O'Clock in the Morning with Nelson himself employed to write the screenplay.

Perry Blackshear's Directorial debut feature They Look Like People (2015) is still perhaps the latest entrant into the sub-genre, focusing more on the psychology of its hero-come-antihero as he struggles to distinguish reality from fantasy (read 'nightmare'). Yet Blackshear's film is several iterations away from any of the aforementioned efforts.

In fact stylistically, They Look Like People is akin to the work of Blackshear's comtempories Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. By this I mean the film is part of a movement which places relationships between characters at the forefront of Genre storytelling. The duo's films Resolution (2012) and The Endless (2017) are both as concerned with the endurance of male friendships amid horrific circumstances as they are with staples of the Genre. We may now come to define this 'Buddy Horror' as its own sub-genre.

Far from derivative, Blackshear's debut is suspenseful and atmospheric, containing minimal gore yet just enough half-seen body horror to keep one white-knuckled. Its dramatic question is less about whether or not it's main character is mentally ill than about whether or not the relationship between its two 'buddies' will endure in spite of this challenge.

They Look Like People is not perfect by any stretch. It lives and dies on its portrayal of the relationship between its two leads. Relative newcomers MacLeod Andrews and Evan Dumouchel do a fine job in both the portrayal of the central relationship and in service of suspense. Yet generations of Horrorphiles raised on jump scares and gore may not find what they're looking for here. The suspenseful moments are truly suspenseful but there is as much time spent on portraying the key relationships as on anything else.

Yet considering its budget and the relative inexperience of all concerned They Look Like People more than exceeds expectations. This film is evidence of a unique vision and cinematic craftsmanship. It is also evidence that 'Buddy Horror is here to stay'.

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26 February 2016 (USA) See more »

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2.35 : 1
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