A campy tribute to The Twilight Zone, The Similars ( Los Parecidos) is a fun, fascinating science fiction/horror romp that will leave you guessing up until the final scenes. Incredibly well directed, the visual style is stunning & the soundtrack mesmerising. Director, Ezban Issac draws much inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s style but it is far from a cheap imitation.
Set around the events that occurred in Mexico in 1968. The Mexican government used its power to suppress political opposition from students leading to a massacre in Tlatelolco. Set before this tragedy occurred, it may not seem that important for a movie set completely in a bus station hours away from Mexico City.
It is though, as the mix of characters, 8 of them, all have differing views on students & the Mexican government. It’s these views that breed mistrust & suspicion as the events of this wacky film unfold.
On a rainy, dark night a group of strangers are all stranded at a bus station. The storm outside has seen all bus services cancelled so the group are forced to wait inside. Things take a dark turn though when news reports begin to come in that the storm is no ordinary storm. People are changing & no-one seems to know how or why.
The events occurring outside begins to effect those inside the bus station. Some of the group collapse, seemingly having a fit & when they wake they no longer look like they did.
In fact they all look exactly the same, the same face…the face of one of the group inside the bus station! Paranoia & desperation begins to set resulting in violence & even some deaths. Is this the work of the Mexican government? A student fight back? Or is it all the work of the Devil?
Thankfully The Similars doesn’t go for the easy answer, instead its tale is ripped straight from an episode of The Twilight Zone. The movies style is gorgeously sixties, it exudes an era which fits perfectly with the unique story being told.
Its tongue is jammed deeply in its cheek, silly at times but only to further the story. Every plot point just adds an extra layer to the great story being told. All of this wouldn’t matter though if the acting wasn’t up to scratch but that is not an issue.
The cast are varied with characters who are exciting & unique. Everyone plays their roles perfectly & are incredibly believable. The early desperation to just get out of the bus station to Mexico City to the later desperation to find out just what is happening to them, it’s jaw-dropping stuff.
Where The Similars does fail to capture the imagination is with its dragged out finale. Things take a little too long to resolve & once the full story is revealed things should have been wrapped up a bit sooner. That being said though it’s a very entertaining movie that leans way more on the science fiction side of things then horror.
Unique, darkly comic & well put together results in a movie that is a clear work of love. In a genre that is tired & lacking inspiration, The Similars really stands out.
The Final Score - 8/10