WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s movies like this that make you lose faith in the whole premise of film making. I mean, you want to believe that film makers are trying their best to put out high quality, original movies, and then this rather blatant Saw ripoff comes along and makes you question everything. Yeah, we all know that none of that’s true, but Elimination isn’t even subtle in what it’s trying to piggy back on. Granted, it has some of the cheapest CGI I’ve ever seen in a film and each and every actor could’ve easily been outperformed by a paperclip (which unintentionally gives it its entertainment value), but I spent my whole time sitting in front of the TV just waiting for someone to say “I want to play a game.” But I guess this is what you get from a movie that has unnecessary breasts thrown in front of the camera before the 1 minute mark has even been passed.
As I’m sure we’re all painfully aware, we live in the age of reality television, and the Good Lord knows that they’ll stick a camera in front of anyone and follow them around. Everyone wants to be famous, right? Well, so does our bunch of generic clichés (and there’s a lot of them – latino, latina, jock, bitch blonde, bitch blonde’s caring boyfriend, street thug, smart hot girl in a cardigan etc.). They’re all about to audition for a brand new online reality show called Spotlight. They don’t really know what it’s all about or where it’s being filmed, but there’s a $1 million dollar prize at the end of it for the winner, so I suppose the finer details might not be at the forefront of their tiny minds.
After getting together in a parking lot and meeting one of Spotlight‘s crew members, the gang is bundled into an unmarked van, stripped of their cellphones, drugged, and taken to an unknown location in the middle of the desert. None of them seem to find any of this particularly disconcerting, so they all make their way through to the audition room. Here they meet Jigsa… I mean the Executive Producer… via a live stream. He explains to them that the game they’re about to play might be a tad bit more extreme than they were planning on, and that it may or may not cater to an audience who likes watching snuff but doesn’t want to call it that. You see, Spotlight involves the gang running through various zones in an attempt to make it to the end. They’ll be pursued by a psychotic clown and an Amazonian warrior (who, again, has two breasts) who will try to brutally murder them. Since none of this is entirely above-board the kids can’t really back out on contractual technicalities, so it’s off into the labyrinth of doom for them.
Whilst the pseudo-Amazon and the clown provide some real-life threats, there are also stock dangers like machine guns, giant blades, giant furnaces and oversized food blenders to watch out for. To balance out the rather steep danger curve, the zones also have several hidden immunity statues, granting the holder 15 minutes where the clown and Amazon can’t kill them. Also, if a spotlight appears, anyone who stands in it is also safe from the executioners. But whilst the executioners and the oversized food blender are certainly areas of concern for the group, their greatest threat will be one another. Only one person can make it to the final zone and win the $1 million prize, so every clichéd character is going to underwhelmingly bring out their worst character traits in an attempt to make it out alive. If you’re like me, dear reader, by the time it comes to the final showdown, you too will be rooting for the oversized food blender.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s never a bad idea to give your cellphone to a creepy old man and climb into his unmarked van.
- Kids these days are incredibly whiny about being drugged and taken places against their will.
- It takes years of Tae Bo training to effectively kick a man in the balls.
- Research indicates that modern killers don’t really concern themselves with their victims’ comfort when building their killing contraptions.
- Rampaging murderers are easily thwarted by an empty cardboard box.
- Even murderers edit their footage to make their shows more dramatic and increase their ratings.
- Even psychotic executioners are part of a union.
- Psychotically deadly situations really bring out some people’s inner narcissist.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
What’s not to love about a good movie made for the SyFy Channel? They’re guaranteed to be b-grade, they’re guaranteed to be made on a low-budget and they’re guaranteed to be a good laugh. The Hive is no different; based around an island under attack by a swarm of man-eating ants the audience is subjected to an hour and a half’s worth of so-so acting, horrible CGI and a plot that’s so far-fetched I recommend it for nothing else other than the ‘No, they didn’t just do that!’ factor. Read on, dear reader, if you would like to know just how far the animal kingdom can be pushed by a company out to make a tremendously b-grade sci-fi / horror combo!
Something’s very wrong on a little island in the middle of the Pacific. One night, high up in the sky, a strange light was seen descending and disappearing behind a hill, and ever since then the ant population of the island has been going a little awry. It would appear that they are no longer content to simply invade the locals’ picnics and make off with whatever scraps are available to them – they’ve now got their sights on a much bigger prize. It all begins simply enough: one night, in the middle of the jungle, a woman is busy tidying her house while her baby gently rocks itself in a little hammock. Outside, the ants are preparing for their first attack. Hundreds of thousands of them descend on the house, making intricate structures on the roof by bunching together. Having gathered into formation they begin falling from the roof and, in a matter of seconds, devour the woman and her child and leave nothing but piles of bones and clothes. Soon most of the island’s population is on the run as the ants begin to spread out and attack entire communities, leaving nothing but death and destruction in their wake.
With the island on the brink of collapse it’s up to Team Thorax (I shit you not), a group of highly trained insect killers, to try and sort out the problem. They’ve come fully loaded: suits to stop the ants getting to them, high-powered ant-killing laser guns and a state-of-the-art communications centre to keep in touch with those brave souls out on patrol. All of these things are necessary since the ants are displaying incredibly aggressive behaviour, are swarming in never-before-seen numbers and have developed the ability to run at about 90 km/h. Where the ants plan on striking next is also proving to be very difficult to track and the combined forces of Team Thorax and the island’s military are being stretched rather thin trying to contain the outbreak. Oddly enough though nobody seems to think that millions of ants swarming together and eating people alive is particularly strange behaviour. Obviously Team Thorax has seen its fair share of ant-related atrocities in its time and this is really just another day at work for them.
Since eating every human in sight doesn’t seem to be impressing Team Thorax overly much the ants decide to go all-out and display even more bizarre behaviour in a desperate bid to get some attention. Firstly the humans discover, when they take a sample from the ants’ frontline, that the swarm is made up of a number of different species of ants, something very strange since ants usually attack ants of a different kind (racism is still very much an issue in the ant community). Nobody seems to think much of this, so the ants then start to mass together and form floating tentacles with all the ants at the front staring forward so that they can investigate their surroundings. The tentacles are also good at breaking things when the ants get angry. This doesn’t seem to impress Team Thorax either, so the ants decide to take the leader and his scientist girlfriend into their lair. Here we find that the ants have turned themselves into a computer (again, I shit you not) capable of controlling the swarm and assigning tasks to the various different ant species to ensure the optimum killing power of the swarm as a unit. The ants then begin to communicate with the humans, telling them what it is they want and why they’re doing what they’re doing. The humans must then decide if they’re going to give the ants what they want or declare all-out war.
See? Watch it for nothing other than the sheer ridiculousness of its plot. Even by SyFy standards this one was rather far-fetched.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- A great way to seduce a woman is to insult her field of expertise on national television.
- There’s an entire industry dedicated to making enormous weapons for killing ants.
- Speculating about mass intelligence in insect swarms is hardly mainstream science.
- Women hate it when you grossly overstate the purpose of their PhD thesis.
- Ants are incredibly eager hosts and want to show off the home they’ve created.
- Ants are open to entering into territorial negotiations.
- Ants are very knowledgeable on the workings of the human brain.
- Ants are very good at using humans as ventriloquist dummies.
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