SUPER HYBRID: Movie Review

Super Hybrid
by Michael Pickle

Coming to DVD on 8/23/2011 from Anchor Bay is the latest PG-13 horror film from 'One Missed Call' director Eric Valette. SUPER HYBRID stars a shape-shifting alien that, for unexplained reasons, can only morph into different cars. I know what you're thinking, but it's actually not as bad as it sounds. That's not to say it's good. It's kind of just there. It's not the worst straight-to-DVD, PG-13 CGI-fest I've ever seen, but that doesn't say much.

After a driver-less killer muscle car claims a few victims on the streets of Chicago, it's involved in a deadly traffic accident and is taken to a police impound garage. The mechanics on call soon realize that it has a mind of its own, but it's too late. They are trapped inside with, what we soon discover, is a ridiculous CG snake alien that morphs into different cars. It proceeds to mow down the hapless mechanics one by one or lure them inside of it where they are presumably eaten by the beast. It's up to resident bad ass mechanic chick on a motorcycle, Tilda (Shannon Beckner), to save them all from this hell on wheels with a relentless thirst for blood.

I wanted to avoid the obvious comparisons to 'Stephen King's Christine', but there aren't a whole lot of killer car movies out there. For good reason. 'Christine' set the bar and 'Super Hybrid' didn't even approach it. All the excitement, suspense and menace of 'Christine' was replaced by lifeless special effects and equally lifeless narrative.

There I go again. Making this poor little movie sound worse than it actually is, but this hum-drum horror didn't give me much to work with. In essence; "Super Hybrid" is a super standard monster movie where the monster is a car.

The most annoying thing about this film is the CG effects. I'm not one of those horror fans who vehemently despises CGI. I believe there is a place for it in horror and it can be used to entertaining effect. Whether it's used for a decidedly natural and non-distracting effect like in Gareth Edwards' superb sci-fi thriller 'MONSTERS' or for cheesy, over-the-top comedic effect like any SyFy Original starring Debbie Gibson and/or Tiffany.

Super Hybrid wants to be taken as seriously as a film like 'Monsters', but it uses CGI willy nilly like a SyFy Original. That can almost never work. Add add forgettable dialogue with one-dimensional characters and you got yourself a certified flop. Too bad because there seems to be some talents that are going to waste here.

Super Hybrid Movie Still

The film starts out promising with helicopter shots of the city and crane shots of the alien car tooling around town. This seems to promise a grand scope and a showdown with the looming hybrid in the streets of Chicago. Just when you think the film is going to take off; it scales down and confines itself to a police impound garage.

I realize that this may have seemed like a good idea. Confining the film to one location among a bunch of other cars left room for more stunts that the small budget wouldn't otherwise allow. Sad thing is that if you confine a film to one location; the story and the characters need to be that much more compelling.

Regrettably, the story and characters are just as small as the location.


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