By Dave B.
In Assimilate (2019, currently on Netflix), three high school friends in a small Missouri town try to unravel the mystery of why the town pastor is throwing “rats” at people’s houses. As they investigate this mystery, they discover that townspeople are acting increasingly odd. Unable to convince anyone to help them, the teens find themselves pitted against everyone that they know as they attempt to alert the world to a potentially global threat.
Basically, Assimilate is an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” clone. That said, it’s actually pretty entertaining. The three main performances are strong, the script and dialogue are solid, and the primary characters are surprisingly well-written. They don’t make any flagrantly stupid decisions for dubious reasons and the plot advances in a pleasingly organic way.
Assimilate isn’t going to win any awards for originality and it doesn’t appear that it intends to. It’s just solidly made, seamlessly weaving the occasional “found footage” moments into the more standard and prevalent third-person shooting of the film. Despite lacking originality, at no point is Assimilate boring, and I found myself genuinely interested in discovering how the movie would conclude.
If you’re looking for a groundbreaking sci-fi/horror movie, you should probably look elsewhere. That said, I definitely recommend Assimilate, particularly for viewers who are looking for some relatively mindless entertainment that is low-budget, but extremely well-made. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if someday, writer/director John Murlowski were to make a sequel of this film. There are worse things in this world than following up a pretty fun movie, well-executed movie with another one.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.